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OF SAVANNAH 1776-1793 



FOR MAY 1765, 1766 AND 1767 






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Joseph Clay Frontispiece 

Map Northern Frontier of Georgia facing page 32 

Map of the County of Savannah facing page 96 

View of Tiby Lighthouse facing page 160 

View of Cockspur Fort ..facing page 224 


After the death of the Right Reverend William Bacon 
Stevens, Bishop of Pennsylvania, the manuscripts lent to 
him by the Georgia Historical Society, to assist him in 
writing his history of Georgia,* were returned to the 
Society. Among these manuscripts are two letter books of 
Joseph Clay — some of which letters are published in the fol- 
lowing pages. Those left out were mostly repetitions, writ- 
ten to different correspondents, and some were so blurred 
and worn by age, as to be illegible. These letters are printed 
just as they were written, without any attempt at correction, 
A list of ships and vessels entered at the port of Savannah 
from January 5th, 1765, to July 5th, 1767, was also among 
the manuscripts returned to the Society. This MS. con- 
sists of eighty-four pages, from which the entries and 
clearings for the same month in each year, were chosen 
to give an idea of Savannah's commerce. The Sketch of 
Joseph Clay was written by Col. Charles Colcock Jones, Jr., 
the Georgia historian, and well known authority on Indian 
antiquities,! in his "Biographical Sketches of the Delegates 
of Georgia to the Continental Congress." J 

Lt. Col. Archibald Campbell's "Sketch of the Northern 
Frontiers of Georgia" was made by him after his capture 
of Savannah to facilitate the taking of Augusta. His main 
object was to establish a frontier between Georgia and 
the States already in possession of the Americans, in the 

* A History of Georgia, from its first discovery by Europeans to the 
adoption of the present Constitution in MDCCXCVIII, in two volumes. New 
York, 1848. By William Bacon Stevens. 

t Antiquities of the Southern Indians. Particularly of the Georsla 
Tribes. By C. C. Jones, Jr. New York, 1873. 

t Biographical Sketches of the Delegates from Georgia to the Conti- 
nental Congress. By C. C. Jones, Jr. New York, 1891. 

hopes that the Georgia Republicans would return to their 
allegiance to the Crown, and thus secure as firm a foot-hold 
on American soil for the English in the South, as Canada 
was in the North. 





Committee on Printing and Publishing. 

3ti0F|jI| (Wag 

Ralph Clay — the father of the subject of this sketch 
— married Elizabeth, a sister of the honorable James Hab- 
ersham, intimate friend of the reverend George Whitefield, 
and, during the absence of Sir James Wright in 1771-72, 
the royal Governor of Georgia. Joseph Clay, the only son 
of this marriage, was born at Beverley, Yorkshire, England, 
on the 16th of October, 1741. At the suggestion of his 
distinguished uncle, supplemented by the persuasions of 
the Reverend Mr. Whitefield, Young Clay came to Georgia 
in 1760. A few years afterwards, responding to the wish 
of Governor Habersham, who furnished the means requi- 
site for the adventure, his son James Habersham junior 
and his nephew Joseph Clay associated themselves in a 
general commission business in Savannah. The partner- 
ship thus formed lasted about five years. With the excep- 
tion of the period covered by the war of the Revolution 
Mr. Clay remained actively engaged in commercial pur- 
suits. He and Colonel Joseph Habersham were at one 
time associated under the firm name of Joseph Clay & Com- 
pany. He was also a partner in the house of Seth John 
Cuthbert & Company; at another time he was the senior 
member of the firm of Clay, Telfair & Company, and again 
was interested as a co-partner in the house of William Fox 
& Company of Newport, Rhode Island. His home was 
always in Savannah, where, on the 2d of January, 1763, he 
married Ann Legardfere. Soon after establishing himself 
in business in Savannah, Mr. Clay became interested, in 
connection with his relatives, the Habershams, in the culti- 
vation of rice, which was then the principal market crop 
produced upon the marish lands of Southern Georgia. 
Both as a merchant and as a planter he prospered. In 
conducting his business affairs he was prompt, energetic, 
and competent. 

By the meeting of patriotic citizens assembled at the 
Liberty Pole at Tondee's Tavern in Savannah on the 27th 
of July, 1774, he was chosen a member of the committee 
then raised and charged with the preparation of resolu- 
tions expressive of the rebel sentiments of the community, 
and of the determination of Georgia, at an early day, to 
associate herself with her sister American colonies in opo- 
sition to the enforcement of the unjustifiable and arbitrary 
acts of the British Parliament. 

On the 10th of the following August he appeared with 
this committee and united in submitting a report which, 
unanimously adopted, proclaimed in brave language the 
rights claimed by the protesting provinces, condemned in 
emphatic terms the policy inaugurated by England, and 
promised cooperation on the part of Georgia in all consti- 
tutional measures devised to obtain a redress of existing 
grievances and to maintain the inestimable blessings 
granted by God and guaranteed' by a constitution founded 
upon reason and justice. He was also of the committee 
then appointed to solicit and forward supplies for the relief 
of the suffering poor of Boston. In the rape of six hundred 
pounds of powder from the king's magazine in Savannah 
during the night of the 11th of May, 1775, and in its subse- 
quent distribution among parties intent upon rebellion, 
Mr. Clay personally participated. By the assembly con- 
vened on the 22d of June in the same year he was com- 
plimented with a place in the Council of Safety. To the 
famous Provincial Congress which met in Savannah twelve 
days afterwards, he was a delegate accredited from the town 
and district of Savannah. By that Congress he was placed 
upon a committee to frame an address to his Excellency 
Governor Wright. He was also designated as a member 
of the important ''Committee of Intelligence," and com- 
missioned as one of another committee to present the 
"Article of Association," then adopted, to the inhabitants 
of the town and district of Savannah for signature. 

Deeming it essential to the success of the liberty cause 


that no officer of the militia should be retained in commis- 
sion who refused or neglected to sign this "Article of 
Association," and yet exhibiting a show of respect for 
Sir James Wright, the royal governor, George Walton, 
William Le Conte, Francis Harris, William Young, George 
Houstoun, William Ewen, John Glen, Samuel Elbert, Basil 
Cowper, and Joseph Clay, acting in behalf of the Council 
of Safety, on the 8th of August, 1775, addressed a communi- 
cation to his Excellency the governor, asking permission 
that the several militia companies of the province should 
be permitted to elect their own officers. It was suggested 
that some of them were distasteful to those whom they 
were appointed to command. Deeming it an extraordinary 
application, dangerous in its tendency and calculated to 
wrest the control of the military from the crown officers. 
Sir James sought the advice of his Council. An answer 
was returned : "that for many very substantial reasons the 
governor would not comply with the request." Nothing 
daunted, the members of the Council of Safety, who really 
cared but little for the mind of the governor on the subject, 
took the matter in their own hands, and proceeded to purge 
the militia of any loyal element which lurked in the ranks 
of its commissioned officers. The revolutionists were in 
earnest. With rapid strides they marched forward, over- 
coming in succession every obstacle which retarded their 
progress towards the consummation of the complete over- 
throw of kingly dominion in Georgia. In this rebel pro- 
cession Joseph Clay was an active and efficient lieutenant. 
When, early in March, 1776, Barclay and Grant threat- 
ened Savannah, the Council of Safety resolved to defend 
that town and the rice-laden vessels lying at its wharves, 
to the last extremity. Mr. Clay was then named as chair- 
man of a committee to inventory and value the shipping 
in port, and all houses in Savannah and its hamlets belong- 
ing to the friends of America who were prepared to parti- 
cipate in the common defense. In that inventory and 
appraisement were to be included the homes and property 

of widows and orphans. So firm was the resolution 
of the patriots, that they were determined to commit every- 
thing to the flames rather than have their town and ship- 
ping pass into the hands of British soldiers. 

The inventory and appraisement were made with a 
view to future indemnification at the hands of the general 
government. Fortunately the contemplated sacrifice was 
not demanded at the hands of these gallant defenders. 

On the 6th of August, 1777, Mr. Clay was recognized 
by the Continental Congress as Deputy Paymaster-General 
in Georgia, with the rank of colonel. This position was 
subsequently enlarged so as to embrace the Southern 
Department. When General Greene assumed command 
of this department, Colonel Clay was brought into personal 
association with him, and secured his confidence and 
esteem. Large sums of money were disbursed by him in 
the execution of his office, and there remains no suggestion 
of default or misappropriation. During the years 1778, 
1779, and 1780 Georgia named him as one of her delegates 
to the Continental Congress. 

By the first general assembly which convened in Sav- 
annah after its evacuation by General Alured Clarke and 
the king's forces in July, 1782, Colonel Clay was elected 
Treasurer of the State of Georgia, and his salary was fixed 
at £300 per annum. 

In 1785 he was named as one of the trustees for estab- 
lishing the college or seminary of learning which subse- 
quently developed into the present University of Georgia; 
and during the following year he became one of the justices 
of Chatham County. In May, 1791, he was a member of 
the committee which welcomed President Washington on 
the occasion of his visit to Savannah. He died in that city 
on the 15th of November, 1804,* 

• Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography fixes the date of Colonel 
Clay's death as the 16th of January, 1S05. The true date, as taken from the 
family records, is that which we have given above. 


His son Joseph was a prominent lawyer, and for sev- 
eral years occupied the bench as United States Judge of 
the District of Georgia. Resigning this position he entered 
the sacred ministry, and was regarded as one of the most 
eloquent pulpit orators of his day. In later generations 
the descendants of Colonel Clay have been noted in the 
church, at the Bar, in the domain of politics, and in social 


®If0 SnB^pli OIkg Sl^tt^ra 

Savannah, the 21st Nov'r, 1776. 
Messrs. Wragg & Smith, Geo'e Town S Carolina. 

I wrote you sometime ago in Answer to yours of the 
20th ulto since with a Gentleman of my acquaintance (Mr. 
Wereat) mentioned to me that if Capt. Ash's Brig was to 
be freighted or disposed of, tho' he had rather the latter, 
that he shoud be glad to be concerned, & that he woud make 
such Payments as woud probably induce the Owners to dis- 
pose of or Charter her. I believe that he wants her for the 
Public, say for the C. Congress. I acquainted him that I 
believed some of the owners woud soon be here & that he 
might have an Opportunity of treating with them As our 
Port is now open he is Anxious to Embrace the Opportunity, 
& woud be glad to know if he has any probability of 
having the Brig. I promis'd him to drop you a line on 
the subject which is the reason of my troubling you with 
this, & am. Gentlemen 

Your most Obe't Serv't 

J. C. 
P. S. If you propose making Mr. Wereat any offers 
in regard to the Brig, you may direct to John Wereat, Esq., 

Dec'r 4th the foregoing was intended to have gone by 
Post but missed it, since which it has been agitated in 
Convention to employ your Brig in the service of this State, 
but no determination has as yet been come into. 


Messrs. Bright & Pechin & Capt. Hazard * 

Copy to Capt. Buck. 
Savannah Dec'r 7 1776. 
Gentlemen : 

the foregoing is Copy of my last in which I promis'd to 
send you a Copy of our Orders to Stiles, & Invoice, &c., 
but have not been able our Convention having been sitting 
constantly ever since, of w'ch I am a Member, which ha^ 
Employ 'd every moment of my time; our Coast remains as 
far as we know pretty clear of any of the British Cruisers, 
there is two or three tenders to the S'ward, but they are kept 
principally at Augustine and St. Mary's River for the 
Defence and Protection of E. Florida, we are Carrying on 
a Battery on Tybee for the Defence of our River, I was 
in hopes the Ship we sold Dorsius woud have been loaded 
before Capt. Hazard had sailed, and that we might have 
drawn in your favour for our half of Ship & Cargo & 
remitted you the first Bill by him, However I must send 
you by post or by sea from Charles Town shou'd no direct 
Conveyance offer from here, I have not the least prospect 
of getting a Vessel here of any kind to send to you. I have 
some Leather & Indico, by me & Rice, in hopes of 
something coming from you & woud have more if I 
could be at any Certainty, but while times are so precarious 
T do not Choose to keep a large Property by me in Savan- 
nah, without some reason to expect having an Opportunity 
of Shipping it soon, if you can get it done we woud be 
glad to have our Insurance made on Capt. Stiles out & 
Home, he sailed from this about 14 Days ago with the first 
of a fresh Westerly Wind & a certainty of our Coast 
being clear, as two of the Carolina Privateers where Scour- 
ing it at the time, the Value of the Cargo we are jointly 
concerned in is ;£335.6.6 & the vessel about £480, tho' 
cannot be exact as the Accounts are not made up. We 
cannot Say to what place we woud have him Insured, as 

• Philadelphia. 


we left it to him to go where he thought there woud be 
least Risque, therefore if he learnt by any means that one 
place was more infested w'th Cruisers than another he was 
to avoid it, this we thought best for our mutual Interest, 
as he is a Man we can rely on & who has been long 
acquainted with Business ; we Recommended such Articles 
to him to lay out his Cargo in, as we thought wou'd best 
suit Our Markett, but did not fix them as we could not tell 
where he would sell, we discourag'd his going to the Cape 
as we found many of their Vessels were constantly going 
& coming from the Continent, of course their Comodities 
woud be high among's them & ours, very low. We cannot 
fix any Prem'o if the Voyage is a Successfull one 'twill 
pay a high one, & if not we shou'd be glad to be Insured 
even at a high premo', so that we leave this to you, tis gen- 
erally said the Continental Congress allow the Continent 
to Trade w'th the Bahamas & Bermudas, I am not Clear in 
it, & shoud be glad to be inform'd as they are very conven- 
iently Situated for us. I most anxiously wish we coud 
get a good Vessel afoot again, we cou'd soon re Establish 
our Trade, the Cargo's hitherto brought in I find are of 
no consequence they being so small that they are imme- 
diately Consum'd, the great & Principal matter is they 
have sold for such great Profits that they have been 
enabled to purchase large Quantities of very Valuable & 
Profitable Articles, such as Leather, &c., w'ch I would pre- 
vent by constantly Buying them up were I tolerably cer- 
tain of having a Vessel to Ship them off in, but till that is 
the Case I cannot Venture , you may depend some one or 
other among you will fix here soon if we do not Resume 
the Business again, 'tis not in my power here, we have not 
the least Chance, their is neither Vessels, Sails nor Cordage 
or Materials of any kind, nor indeed cou'd I tell where to 
get a Master for a Vessel if I had one (Bunner Commands 
one of our Galleys) we are now fitting out a Brig abt 300 
Bllts in order to do w'ch four or five of us are oblig'd to 
join together, that we may be able to collect as many 


materials among us as will send her to sea, neither Being 
able to do it of himself, a Pc Canvas cou'd not be Bo't 
among us for any price ; the Brig Stiles is in I vvoud 
observe is a very fast Sailor, but as she is Square rigg'd & 
of course rather lofty, she runs great risque of being Dis- 
covered & chac'd than a smaller Vessel for which reason 
we Empower'd him in Case he cou'd sell the Brig to 
advantage, & purchase a fast Sailing Sloop or Schooner to 
do it, this must be attended to in making the Insurance & 
is the reason I mention it, I would only repeat if you can 
get a Vessel that Sails fast any price will not be too much 
for her, provided the present contest Continues. She must 
if she runs a few Trips make a great deal of Money, I will 
do every thing on my part, but getting a Vessel I have no 
chance of doing, we are extremely anxious to hear from 
N. York we expect the British Army or rather part of it 
will be Sotherly when the Season for Action is over with 
3^ou, and are preparing Accordingly. I have only to assure 
you that I am with great regard. 

Your most Obed't Serv't, 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. We order'd Stiles on his return to run in to the 
first Port he made from Chas. Town Southerly to Sapelo, 
from any of which he can come to Savannah inland. 

The Hon. Henry Laurens, Esq., Charles Town. 

D'r Sir Since you left Savannah I inquired in our Sec- 
retary's office for the Titles to Mr. Hawkins Land on 
Rocky Comfort, and was inform'd they were not there nor 
had they been Recorded on w'ch I took the first Opportu- 
nity of inquiring of Mr. Netherclift relative to them who 
inform'd me they were in his Possession, that they Had 
not been Recorded for want of their being prov'd that the 


Witnesses were Residents in your State that he had kept 
the Titles in his Hands Expecting that some of them might 
have came here & enabled him to have had them prov'd & 
Recorded he said further that he expected to come to your 
Town very shortly & would take the Deeds with him to 
Mr. Hawkins in Order to their being prov'd he likewise 
told me that he had made inquiry relative to the Sellers 
on the Land & coud not learn that there were any on it or 
if there were twas only some transient back Country peo- 
ple of no consequence I Endeavour'd to make what inquiry 
I could relative to the Enemys Vessel to the Southward 
but have not been able to obtain so satisfactory an Account 
as I could wish, there is a Gentleman just from Aug't, a 
Col, Lawson who I believe comes with the General who 
has been to the So'ward as far as Sunburry I presume 
you will be able to obtain a very full Account General 
Howes coming amongst us at this juncture I am in hopes 
will produce very salutary consequences to this state & 
the cause in general as I am in hopes he in some measure 
has alarm'd many amongst us who seem'd sunk into a State 
of Security or wholly Engaged in disputes. 

Messrs. Bright & Pechin & Capt. Buck. 

Savannah the 17th Dec'r, 1776. 
Gentlemen : 

I suppose the Schooner put in there, the Schooner Capt. 
Buck is intirely on the Public Account to serve as a 
Packett, tho' I believe she is to take Freight whenever the 
Congress dont fill her up themselves, she is to go constantly 
between your Port & this. Our Convention being still 
setting prevents my sending you the Papers I promis'd you. 
If the Congress do not fill her themselves you may obtain 
Freight, but not otherways, she is dispatch'd under the 
direction of a secret Committee We have heard of a large 
Fleet having sailed from New York & since that of their 


having put into Hampton Road Virgina, but that 'twas 
thought they were bound still further So'therly but no 
appearance of them as yet this way I can only add that 
I am with great regard, 


Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah Dec'r 18th 1776. 
Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen : 

I dropt you a Line of yesterdays Date ^ Capt. Buck 
in w'ch I mentioned his Vessel was intirely on the Public 
Account & so in fact she is, & at the expence of the United 
States: but I find she will very probably be Used for pri- 
vate Advantage, the Vessel is manag'd by a secret Comittee 
appointed by the C: Congress, they consign her to whom 
they please, if the Public have any thing to send from this 
Port or yours I presume it will have the preference, but if 
not the Secret Comittee or the Person to whom they Con- 
sign her may let her out to whom they please, this has been 
the Case this Trip, our State did not choose to Ship any- 
thing on its own Account, of course Mr. Wereat, to whom^ 
she was directed by the Comittee had the filling her up, or 
letting her out, he has done the former, & from Observa- 
tions of my own I presume he must expect to do so in 
future as I find he is Endeavoring to purchase Sole Leather, 
Indico &c. he has got some Comissions from your City oi; 
fix'd a Correspondence there when he was with you this 
last fall : I only mention this for your information I have 
a notion he is connected w'th some of the Secret Comittee 
in your City, however to me its seems very strange that a 
Vessel which is intended as a Packet or Advice Boat to go 
with Dispatch shou'd be loaded as deep as a Common Mer- 
chantman, if we coud by any means procure a fast sailing 


Vessel that woud carry from 150 to 180 Blls Rice at most 
well fitted & Armd w'th 4 or 6 Carriage Guns to keep off 
Boats &c., & to row on an Occasion I think we might do 
something to advantage but without a Vessel we can do 
nothing & one is not to be had here. 
I can only repeat that I am w'th regard 

Your most Obed't Serv't 
J. C. 

Savannah Georgia 30th Dec, 1776. 
Capt. John Rains 

Sir: Inclosed is Invoice of five Casks Indico, Ship'd by 

me on board the Schooner Sophia whereof you 

are Master & Consign'd to you Amounting to the sum of 
two hundred & seventy-two Pounds 13/5 w'ch you will 
please dispose of at your port of delivery to the best Advan- 
tage & return me particular Sales thereof the Net Proceeds; 
I would have laid out in such Articles as wou'd be likely 
to produce the greatest profits & take the least Room unless 
you shoud Buy a larger Vessel on Account of the whole 
Concern in w'ch Case a few Bulkly Articles that woud 
produce the greatest profit might be brought such as Rum, 
Sugar, Salt &c. the latter only as Ballast & if to be pro- 
cured without too much Risque & trouble ; among the Arti- 
cles of Dry Goods some of the following wou'd be likely to 
command a quick Sale & produce a large profit ; low priced 
white Linnens of all kinds, such as wou'd have Cost in 
England from 14 to 21 ^ yd : good Osnabrigs, a large 
Quantity, Strip'd Cotton Hollands of a middling Quality, 
Cotton & Linnen Checks Garlix & Dovv^las ; Callicoes & 
printed Linnens, Handkerchiefs of all sorts, Russia Drabs 
White & Colour'd, Raven & Sail Duck, Cotton & Thread 
Hose, Threads of all sorts, Pins & Needles, any coarse 
Woollen Cloth fit for Negro Cloathing & that dont come 


too high, the kind usually Imported for that purpose, into 
this Province us'd to Cost from 13d to 16d ^ yd in England 
•^Plantation & Family Medicine such as Jesuits Bark, 
Ipecacuana, Common Salts, White Vitriol, Rubarb, Tartar 
Emetic, Cream Tartar, Magnesia, Spanish Flies & Melolet 
for Plasters &c. I just mention these things as a Memo- 
randum, but not to confine you to them in particular, as 
perhaps it may so happen that you may make a Port where 
none of them are to be had in w'ch Case you will be oblig'd 
to substitute some other in the Room of them : I would 
only make one Remark further in regard to returns & w'ch 
is a very general one that is all Articles of whatever kind 
that Persons of all Ranks in general constantly want & 
Daily Consume or wear (& of which there are many) must 
of course be in constant Demand & will always command a 
Markett, therefore such things must & will always be suit- 
able & proper to purchase : I woud be obliged to you to 
purchase for me if it comes in your way 1, 2 or 3 Pieces 
White Sheeting equal in Quality to such as usually cost in 
England from 13d 14 to 20 ^ yd ; I woud only notice as my 
opinion that shoud you be able to purchase a fast sailing 
Sloop or Schooner of at least 150 Blls Rice Burthen, that I 
do not think Any Articles you can bring here will produce so 
large a profit as good Rum & Sugar, particular the former 
I have only to add that I am w'th Wishes for your Success 
Sir Your most Obed't Serv't, 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah, Jan'y 28th 1777 
Capt Samuel Stiles 

^ a Letter I received from Cha's Town Dated the 24 
Ins't I am informed that a Frigate was Cruising off their 
Barr, & that they had reason to expect another woud be 
there shortly which has induced me to drop you a line at 


a Venture, shoud it meet you it may be of use to You. I 
am also well assumed''' that the Otter Sloop is generally 
between St. Johns & Augustine, sometimes she goes to 
St. Marys besides which there is generally two or three 
Tenders, say small Schooners & Sloops Arm'd about 
St. Marys, tho' I believe they dont cruise much, being prin- 
cipally intended for the protection of E. Florida, a small 
Schooner Schooner under French Colours run into Sapelo 
ab't a Month ago (Commanded by one Kelly) & Robbed 
poor Montaugut & his Mother, again otherways we have 
heard of nothing on the Coast since you left this we have 
had several Arrivals since you left this Nevertheless Dry 
goods good Rum, Sugar & Salt still bear good prices shoud 
you get in Safe you may probably do tolerably well the 
Man of War being oft will rather be of service to your 
Sales. I am Sir your most Obed't Serv't, 

Jos'h Clay. 
P. S. Nichols Boat say the one that he Built in his 
yard the Back of the Town is fitting out & will be off as a 
Pilot Boat in a few days. I presume you know her she is 
deck'd & appears rather like a small Bermudian Boat she 
will have shoulder of Mutton Sails Mr. Telfair received 
your Letter from Turks Island, your Brother is not yet 

Savannah the 24th Feb'y 1777. 
Mr. John Burnley f 
D'r Sir— 

Our Convention broke up only last Monday Night 
during the sitting of which my time was almost constantly 
taken up & for some days since we have been & now are 
in a little confusion a Number of Soldiers & Indians having 

• Assured. 

t Of Virginia. See letter to James Clay, dated Charles Town, Nov. 2, 1779. 


made an Attack on our most Southern Post, Fort 
Mcintosh situated on the North side of Satilla River, w'ch 
they have taken, their Numbers was above 400 half of 
which were Indians the others Regulars from St. Augus- 
tine they brought 5 pieces of Artillery with them the Fort 
was Commanded by a brave and prudent Officer one Capt. 
Winn Who had 70 Men under his command but the Fort 
was not calculated to resist so formidable an Attack it 
being only a Stockcade — whether this was only their 
Advanced Party &; a larger are following them to make a 
General Attack on the province, or whether they mean to 
Attempt to secure that part of the Country to themselves 
in Order to get the Cattle that is in it, is not yet known, 
every thing is in Alotion & all are in high Spirits, & I think 
I never saw greater Unanimity in this province since the 
present Contest began than just now, and I have not the 
least doubt if we are properly Supported of every thing 
succeeding: to our Wishes. 

Savannah March 1st 1777. 
Mr. Dan'l Bourdeaux 

The Admiralty Suit is not yet brought to an issue owing 
to their not being able to get a Jury for some days past 
the Inhabitants having been all on Duty occasioned by an 
incusion on our Southern Frontier from Florida, but as 
they have Retreated & Troops are howrlly expected I pre- 
sume the Militia (or part of them) will be discharged & 
Business be resumed again in two or three Days and am 
Sir your most Obed't Serv't, 

Joseph Clay. 

P S I do not know what Articles the Prices w'th you 
woud afford your sending them here indeed the Prices 
here are so fluctuatery that there is no Judging from them 
your Salt 10 Days ago A^oud have Produced 10/ ^ Bushel. 


Savannah the 19th March 1777. 
Mess Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen : 

However if no Vessel shoud come in for 4 or 5 Weeks 
I expect I shall be intirely clear of every thing I hold the 
Flour a 45/ Ship Bread a 40/ & Biscuit a 12/ w'ch I hope to 
obtain for the Whole of this Cargo the Onions I am afraid 
will not produce 34 'i^he Cost of them we have so many here 
as to reduce the Price lately to d6 ^ Bunch our Currency 
the Cheese may Produce 2/ tho' I am rather afraid of it asi 
it is much injured from having been so long on board. I 
hope the Sloop will be ready for Sea in two or three Days 
by her I shall send you some Sole Leather, Rice, Indico 
& Deer Skins, also ab't 5 or 600 lb Coffee which stands me 
in ab't 54 our Currency ^ tb, pray be particular in future 
in mentioning the Prices of Articles w'th you particularly 
W. India Produce as from the Idea I have of your Markett 
it appears to be vastly higher than ours & that I might 
often purchase here & Ship you so as to save ourselves if 
not make a profit. 

I am not certain the Sloop will be permitted to Sail as 
soon as she is ready there being an Embargo on Shipping 
at present tho' 'tis Expected t'will be shortly taken off. 
Hazard you have doubtless heard before this was taken 
off Charles Town by the Perseus Frigate & I am afraid 
Thomson has shared the same fate I am w'th regard 


Your most Obed't Serv't 
Mr. Taarling J. C. 


Savannah the 26th March 1777. 
Mr. John Burnley 

The Embargo still remains on our Shipping the Council 
meets to day when I hope the}^ will take this matter into 
consideration. We have a Report here that a Fleet is off 
your port w'ch I hope is not true. One third of the Brig 
Amity was sold yesterday for £715 & bo't in by 
Mr. Weareat the other Owners not having authorized 
either Mr. Houstoun or myself to go so far by a consider- 
able sum on their behalf I am sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't, 

Joseph Clay. 

Messieurs Bright 8c Pechin & Capt. McDaniel copy per 

Savannah the 8th April 1777. 
Mr. Rice 
Gentlemen : 

herewith you will receive Copy of my last to serve in 
failure of the Original as I therein mentioned the Sloop 
has been detained till now on Account of an Embargo w'ch 
was not taken off before this Day I now inclose you Invoice 
& Bill Lading of sundry Articles Ship'd on board the Sloop 
Dove Capt. Daniel McDaniel on your and my joint 
Account Amount'g to Six hund'd & thirty one Pounds 
Ninteen shill'ng & 9d One half of w'ch being £315 - 19 - IQi^. 
I have Debited your Account shou'd this Vessel get in safe 
I am in hopes we shall make a profitable Adventure, the 
3 Hhds W. India Rum are high though of a good Quality 
& must Answer at the Prices you Quote the other 2 Hhds 
are of a better Quality than your distild Rum is & I think 
must do well, the Coffee if the Price keeps up with you 
must bring a Considerable profit, the Sugar I presume will 
pay Freight in future be very particular in regard to the 


State of your Markett's as the course of Trade is now so 
alterd & fluctuating that nothing but constant advice can 
enable one to form any Judgement. I could have sent you 
ab't 20 ps Russia Duck at £1 - 19s a £1 - 15s ^ ps but was 
afraid twas too high tho' I understand tis in Demand with 
you. Inclosed is Invoice of 2 Casks Indico & a parcel of 
Deer Skins Ship'd by Joseph Clay & Co. on your & their 
joint Account amounting to £167 - 8 - 7 One half of which 
is to your Debit in Account with them ; many of the Skins 
are much hurt w'th the worm the good ones will bring 
between 2s & 3s ^ lb for w'ch reason have Averaged the 
whole a 20/. 

Since my last to you I have received your favour of the 
20th February ^ the Georgia Packett Capt. Buck who 
arrived here the 4th Inst, w'th a Cargo consisting of 64 
Blls. Fine Flour 11 half Ells, do 30 blls. Ship Bread & 30 
Blls Porter the Gentlemen to whom she was Consigned 
Mr. John Wereat being gone into the Country had desired 
me to open his Letters in his Absence, & do the necessary 
Business for him w'ch gave me an opportunity of knowing 
her Cargo so exactly by the same means I observe by Let' 
ters from Mr. Thos. Morris that he is sending away one 
or two small Vessels to this Port w'th Barr Iron Flour 
Ship Bread &c all of w'ch is on Account of the United 
States in Order to further Payments round to different 
Ports, Buck goes from this to the W. Indies with a Cargo 
for that purpose. The following Articles I think may be 
Ship'd here to advantage if to be had, the first & prin- 
cipal ones must be as usual, a proportion of the following: 
Superfine Flour in whole, Sffine in half Blls. 

"j not exceed ^ or at most one 

Comon do in do > third of the whole Quantity Ship'd 

J to be of this kind about 20 Blls. 

Ship Bread if not risen much in price do Yz doz Blls. Pilot 
Bread in half Blls. 6 or 8 Blls. good Porter no other will 
stand the hot weather. 



Retail at 2-3 


do 20d to 2s 


do lOd to 2s 

Barr Iron about a Ton or 1^^ Tons I am afraid its too 
high to yield much profit. 

About 50 lb Chocolate if not risen too high you may ship 
as far as a 100 lb. 

Mould Candles sell here 

Dipt do do 

Soap by do do 

Send about 100 Kegs water Biscuit. 

Horse Collars, Chair Harness, & Italian Collars are in 
great Demand & if not too high w'th you I suppose may 
bring our Currency for yours but not more if you have not 
Ship'd me any Chair Haness before this comes to hand 
send at least 2 Setts do w'th Italian Collars. 

Cotten & Wool & Cards will bring particularly the latter 
a good price Say 10/ a 13/ ^ pair, indeed they are so neces- 
sary an Article that they will bring almost any price. 

Sickles, Hoes, Axes & Whips saw files are in great 

Yz doz. Blls Cyder might answer if good 2 or 3 Blls. 
Train Oil woud bring a good price, a small Quantity of 
Steel might answer. I have enumerated these Articles 
just for your Information knowing the state of every thing 
in regard to Trade is so altered as to render it necessary. 
We have a tolerable Trade to the French West Indies w'ch 
furnishes us w'th the produce of their Islands tho' at high 
prices for as their Vessels are in general small the Quanti- 
ties at one time is so small as rarely to leave any Quantity 
of any thing on hand, we have likewise some trade to the 
Dutch Islands from whence we have got chiefly Dry Goods, 
but them in no Quantities as yet, this is all the Trade we 
have as yet except what is Coastways & that is Principally 
to & from your port and Charles Town from w'ch you may 
judge whether you have any thing with you that will suit 
here I suppose 2 or 300 lb Cheese if none shoud arrive here 
woud bring 2/6 ^ lb in yours of the 20th feb'r you mention 
there beinsr 10 Kegs Biscuit on board the Dove more than 


charged in the Invoice. I have received onl}^ — 61 — in the 
whole Capt'n McDaniel thinks the other 5 must have been 
taken out by the Fellow they belonged to I coud have 
ship'd you Indigo of the Best Quality Say of the Copper 
kind a 10/ our Currency ^ tb, but your Account of that 
Article discouraged me Capt'n McDaniel as far as I can 
judge of him seems to be a carefull Sober Man & I am in 
hopes will get safe Back. I had forgot to notice that I 
received the Sloop Account under cover of your 20th Feb'r 
amount £67 - 5 - 10 your Curr one half of which is to your 
credit. Inclosed you have the Sloops Amount. Disburse- 
ments here Amount ilO - 4 - 10 one half of which being 
£35-2-5 our Curr'y is to 3-our Debit, the Indico & Deer 
Skins on Account of J. C. & Co. I have included in our Bill 
Lading Freight of which must leave to you the Guns that 
belong'd to the Brig I lent to one of our Colonels who was 
going by water to the S'ward sometime ago & I am afraid 
I shall find some difficulty in getting them back, if they had 
been here I woud have had them Mounted in the Sloop as 
twoud be a great Security against a Boat boarding her 
shoud she get safe to you & you can purchase two or three 
Swivels or small Guns they may be very serviceable to her. 
10th April the Sloop being detained till to day by bad 
weather has g'iven me an opportunity of Borrowing two 
small Carriage Guns for the Sloop in the lieu of those I 
lent them w'ch Capt. McDaniel has got on board with 
Shott & Powder for them shoud he get in safe I think if 
he had two or three 'Oars fitted twoud not be improper. 
I was in hopes to have sent you Sales No, 15 by this Con- 
veyance as I had it ready except Examining and Casting 
up, but time woud not permit. Inclosed is a Copy of 
Invoice ^ Stiles & Rains the latter is not closed on Acco't 
of the Disbursements some Articles of w'ch have been 
paid by the other Owners w'ch they have not furnish'd me 
with & there is some small matter to add to Disbursements 
we have not heard of. Stiles's Sailing from the Capes but 
are rather uneasy about him as from the last Accounts we 


had from him he ought to have been here before this we 
have never heard any thing- of Rains since he Sail'd w'ch 
makes us at a loss what to conjecture about him, he was to 
go directly for Bermuda & there purchase a fast Sailing 
Vessel. I have only to assure you that I am w'th regard, 

Your most Ob't Serv't 

Jos'h Clay. 

Savannah May 3d 1777. 
Messrs. Bright & Pechin ^ Mr. Rice 

Herewith you will receive Copys of my last to you 
^ Capt. McDaniel wlio I hope is safe with you before this, 
as he Sail'd from here above a fortnight past, Marketts are 
much the same as ^ my last. I am sorry to inform you 
that my Conjectures in regard to Stiles were w'th too much 
reason, he arrived three Days ago in a Boat from Jamaica 
with w'ch he coasted from there along shore — he had pur- ^ 
chased a very fine Sloop that mounted four 2 pounders & 4 
Swivels, & had a Valuable Cargo on board on our Accounts, 
& a very Considerable one on Freight Ship'd by or rather 
^ order Dorsius either on Acco't of the United States or 
Willing & Morris, he was Chaced about Nine Hours after 
he was out by two Frigates & was lucky enough to get 
from them, & two Days after was Chaced again by two 
Sloops Warr who by dint of being a long way to windward 
came up with him & took him, there was another Vessel 
in Company with him when he was taken w'ch got away, 
there was 8 or 9 of them came out together some of whom 
were taken by the Frigates who chased them the first Day, 
his Vessel cost him at the Cape 300 half Johannes & sold at 
Jamaica for £130, 'tis a great Pity no method could be fell 
upon to Purchase prize Vessels in the British Islands, much 


money might be made & America absolutely served by it. 
Rains I have never heard any thing of since he left this, 
I am afraid he foundered at Sea he sailed the same Day that 
Thomson Sail'd for Philadelphia, I will now give you an 
Acco't of a more profitable concern, I mentioned to you in 
some of my last we were fitting out another Vessel in w'ch 
we proposed to Interest you a part, w'ch we accordingly 
did & had her loaded & ready for sea when our Embargo 
was laid, she was Commanded by one Hugh Inglis a very 
sensible, sober & discreet Man, who had Sail'd in the Ship 
we sold Dorsius ever since she was Built w'ch was near 7 
years, during which time we had an Opportunity of trying 
him thoroughly, unfortunately his sentiments did not concur 
with the present contest he was I believe in principle a 
Tory, 'tho a very prudent Man & one that never inter- 
fered (at least Publickly) in Politicks, however, they were 
people ungenerous enough to say he wou'd go to Augus- 
tine w'th his Rice (as some others have really done before 
him) w'ch place 'twas well known was in great want ol 
that Article for Provisions, in consequence of w'ch the 
Owners who v/ere Mr. Telfair, Mr. Jas. Habersham his 
brother Joe, the Capt, & myself % each, reflecting on our 
situation of our Province from its affinity to Augustine — 
that some of their Cruisers might possibly take him as he 
went out & carry him there in w'ch Case we might not 
onl}' be lossers but subject to the sensure & Calumny oi 
the Malicious & ignorant, who woud say he was taken on 
purpose especially as we have really tolerable Proof of one 
Vessel from here being taken by Connivance of one of the 
Owners ; these Considerations & there being an Oppor- 
tunity of getting Rid of the Vessels & Cargo to advantage 
determ.ined us to sell her here more especially as we could 
not with any Propriety turn the Capt. out of the command, 
as he was part Owner & had conducted himself intirely 
to our satisfaction as Master, she Cost us with the Cargo 
including our Commissions on the latter about il430 & 
including Portlidge Bill & every thing — & she produced 


Net of every Charge £2755 so that she Yields to every owner 
ab't 330 clear Profit Say on their ^4 of the Concern I had 
agreable to what I wrote you formerly interested you 1-3 
say one third of my Concern, of course you will be gainer 
of about £110 by this intended voyage, w'ch may perhaps 
be full as well & possibly better than if she had proceeded 
to sea as was designed as soon as the Accot's are closed will 
send you the particulars. Rains Cargo will not Cost say 
for our Ya of Vessel & Cargo more Than £270 of w'ch your 
1-3 will be £90. Bunner is just, now out of Employ, if I 
can get hold of a proper Vessel for him & another for 
Stiles & they will go, I shall try again, perhaps we may 
have better luck add to w'ch I am hopes we shall effect 
an Insurance Company to Insure our own Vessels — Our 
Coast I believe is pretty Clear I wish I coud hear yours was 
also, I am in Jeopardy for you this Spring, its generally 
believed Howe will push hard for your City, I am not so 
apprehensive of our Markett being glutted as when I 
wrote you last above 600 Blls. of the Flour that came in last 
was common, add to w'ch Mr. Weareat & I am on a very 
Friendly Footing & we sell each at the same Price, by 
w'ch means I am in hopes we shall carry the sale through 
at the Prices we began at, indeed finding the Cheese going 
off fast I have obtained 2/3 for about 300 lb of it — I believe 
I did not mention to you that we received only 1 Bll 
Onions ^ McDaniel there was no more on board that 
could be found, I am just now offerd a Quantity of 
Melasses a 4/ ^ Gall. I am apprehensive this Article must 
keep up with you & will grow scarce here, but want of 
knowing your Situation & the precariousness of the times 
altogether almost deter me — but I believe I shall Purchase, 
if Porter can be had that will keep, twill bring a good 
Profit — what came ^ Buck Bro't above £8 Bll our Money. 
I am 


Your most Obed't Serv't, 

J. Clay. 


Savannah the 15th May 1777. 
Mr. Josiah Smith 
D'r Sir, 

I received your favour ^ Dr. Zubly together with a 
Number of Schemes of the Lottery now Drawing on 
Account of the United States, no Person woud exert them- 
selves more to promote any measure that might tend to 
assist the general cause of America & its Defence than 
myself, but the footing the Inhabitants of this State were 
put on in regard to the purchase of the Ticketts as pro- 
posed in yours was such that consistant with the particular 
Interest of this State I coud on no Consideration have 
assisted in the disposal of them, nor indeed were it even 
worth the attempt from the very great Scarcity of either 
your currenc}^ or Continental Money for which reason I 
deferr'd answering your letter till the Assembly met when 
I proposed to have laid the matter before them as I knew 
there was many among us who woud gladly have become 
Adventurers in the principal of Assisting the General 
Cause, & who woud have been deprived of the opportunity 
for want of the currency of your or the United States which 
appeared to me a very great hardship more especially at 
this time when we are labouring under the disadvantage of 
a depreciating Currency brought on us by large Emissions 
of paper Currency Emitted principally on Acc't of the 
United States to pay the several Troops in this State on 
that Establishment, tis true we probably might in some 
degree have been Relieved from this difficulty by having 
Continental Currency Circulating among us, had we have 
been a little more Carefull in sending our Acc'ts to the C: 
Congress in which we have hitherto been Remiss, but I 
believe in future that will not be the Case & I make no 
doubt in the course of a few months to see the Currency of 
this State (from the very large Expenditure that will & 
must be among us on Account of the United States) on as 
respectable a footing as any on the Continent. I hope you 


will Excuse this disgression it naturally arose out of the 
Subject. Agreable to your desire ^ Mr. Habersham I 
have delivered the Schemes to Mr. Wereat who I ani 
glad to find is enabled to dispose of the Ticketts of this 
State for the Currency of it, this Removes every difficulty, 
he is so hearty & sincere in the present cause that you may 
be assured of his promoting- the Sale of the Ticketts as 
much as any man in this State can possibly do, if I can 
by any means further or Expedite the Business I shall as 
Opportunity offer most chearfully do it — We have nothing 
particular among us at present and have only to assure 
you that I am with regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 19th May 1777. 
Henry Laurens Esq'r. 
D'r Sir 

Your favour of the 10th Ins't ^ Mr. Baillie I duly 
received together with your Power of Attorney which he 
Mr. Bailliie has proved & in Answer thereto have only to 
assure you that I will most chearfully do every thing in 
my Power to promote 3^our Interest & shall be very happy 
if J. shall be able to render you any essential Services 
therein I can easily conceive the injury you must Sustain 
in your private concerns from so Sudden a Departure as 
well as from so close an application as you have been 
oblig'd to give to public concerns since the present unhappy 
contest began I have in part felt the same inconvenience 
tho' not in near so great degree as you have, however the 
Public good w'th every true Disinterested Patriot will per- 
vade every other Consideration. I have got our Comissary 
General Mr. James Rae to confirm the Bargain Entered 


into by Col'l Elbert for 10,000 Bushels Rough Rice, & I 
hope if no unforeseen Accident happens to get him in a 
few days to take the Remainder during the Administra- 
tion of our late President Mr. Gwinnett an Expedition was 
undertaken ag't E. Florida in my opinion w'th more Zeal 
than Prudence, as I cannot think our Situation such as to 
enable us to do more than Defend ourselves, & hardly 
that, much less to undertake to Act offensively, Our Troops 
are already gone & our Safety almost depends on their 
being properl}^ supported. Our Assembly w'ch are now 
Sitting have under Consideration an Application to your 
State for Assistance w'ch I much mistaken if we dont stand 
in great need of, as a failure on our parts must necessarily 
bring this Province into a very dangerous Predicament 
& w'ch I am much afraid will be the Case unless we are 
Timely assisted as the Force we have is by no 
means in my opinion, equal to the undertaking. You have 
doubtless heard of Genr'l Mcintosh & Gwinnetts' dispute 
w'ch has ended w'th the loss of the life of the latter a 
mortification took place w'ch brought him to his end this 
morning if the Public Business afford me sufficient time I 
shall take the liberty of troubling you w'th two or three 
letters for Philadelphia. I am w'th regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

J. C. 
P S 21st April we have just heard ^ Express that Part 
of our light Horse under the Command of Col'l Baker 
consisting of about 100 or 110 Men being Attacked & 
Defeated between St. Mary & St. Johns by a Party from 
E. Florida consisting of about 100 Regulars & 40 Indians 
some of our light Horse misbehaved as tis said : tho' I have 
not as yet heard the Particulars this Strengthens my former 


Savannah, June 14th 1777, 
Mr. John Burnley 

I this day received your favour of the 9th Instant, 
^ Express & have agreeable to your request inclosed your 
Account Curr't Ballance you thereby £522..!. .7^ our Curr't 
Moneys there is nothing therein omitted to your Debit that 
I can recollect but the Pilotage of the Sloop which I could 
not obtain the Pilot being at Tybee. 

Since I wrote you last my time has been so much taken 
up with the Assembly that I could not Embrace any Oppor- 
tunity to forward you your Accounts Nevertheless I have 
not being Idle in regard to purchasing Land for you, the' 
have come to no determination decisive therein, nor con- 
cluded on any Bargain, among others one Burney near 
Augusta who said he had been applied to by you, offered 
me Land which tho' not such as I woud intirely from choice 
have purchased, yet from your anxiety to have your Money 
invested in Land, I will take the most Early Opportunity 
of Embracing his offer as the best that has, as yet, accord- 
ing to my knowledge been offered me, tis for Two Tracts 
one in So. Carolina on the Road to 96 about 15 miles from 
Augusta, of 400 Acres Granted in 1771 to one N. Hampton 
on Horns Creek bounded by Purcell, Stringer, Roberts, 
&c the other of 350 acres in Georgia Granted in 1773 on Kegg 
Creek about 15 miles from Augusta the Price is 12/ ^ 
acre this will take nearly the Ballance due you the Remain- 
der I will Endeavour to invest as soon as possible in some 
small Tract; the Sloop produces rather less than I expected, 
however I am content, you may depend on hearing from 
me & if the fate of War does not prevent I shall be doing 
something in a Commercial with you or your Friends 
in Europe, as well as with your Brother in Virginia, how- 
ever this depends on providence the Die is Cast generally, 
this Summer will determine for the Continent, if We keep 
the Enemy at Bay for this Summer tis enough ; their 
utmost effort is making this Campaign with them, 'tis this 


Year or never, the Continental Congress are sensible of it, if 
you have seen their Resolves & Regulations in the begining 
of April you will be convinced of it, by that tis evident 
to me that at this day they have all their Army, consisting 
of 110 Battalions including those in the States of So Caro- 
lina & Georgia quite full with Soldiers or Militia, except 
the two States aforementioned which are not included in 
those Resolves ; after all tis not as we will, the Battle is not 
always to the Strong, but as he who willeth all things 
directs, he has as yet been remarkably on our side, may it 
be so in the future — Col. Elbert is not yet come to Town 
therefore I could not make Application about the Keg of 
Gun powder I have only to assure you that I am with great 

D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 2nd July 1777. 
Messrs Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen : 

We have been daily expecting to hear you were 
attacked that is from common report, tho for my part unless 
Howe is Strongly reinforced or Carlton penetrates on the 
back of you I do not think 'twill be attempted, as General 
Washington's Army by this I apprehend is very Strong & 
much better regulated than formerly, We have an Account 
by Prisoners from Augustine within this six Days that a 
Transport which went there from New York under con- 
voy of the Dartmouth was taking on board 200 men to 
carry them to New York the talk there was that they were 
to be sent Home from New York they having been 11 
years in America, but the true cause in my opinion is that 
Howe is weak & they were to reinforce him, Our Assembly 


resolved at their last sitting that our Delegates at Phil'a 
shoud appoint an Agent in your City for this State to 
transact all Money matters on Account of the State & to 
keep regular Accounts of every matter of Account between 
the United States & this State w'ch Agent is to give 
Security to the Continental Congress in Trust for this state, 
such security to be approved of by the Continental Con- 
gress this possibly may be worth your applying for, if so 
I do not believe there can be any obstacle in the way of 
your getting it I know none it wou'd suit better nor do I 
know of any Competition unless it may be the infamous 
Joe Wood, who is coming a Delegate to represent this 
State but I hope his Character will be well enough known 
with this Congress to prevent his or any of his family being 
trusted with any thing, it may seem surprising such a per- 
son shoud be chosen in a Country where he has more than 
once been recorded in the Courts of Justice for a dishonest 
Man but it intirely arises from a Defect in our New Con- 
stitution, which is so very Democratical & has thrown 
power into such Hands as must ruin the Country if not 
timely prevented by some alteration in it, this has arose 
in a great measure from so large a Number of the principal 
People being either Tories or through fear of the Conse- 
quences have withdrew themselves & wou'd not till very 
late take an Active part in the present contest by which 
means they lost that influence they otherways wou'd have 
had & Rule & Government has got into the Hands of those 
whose ability or situation in Life does not intitle them to 
it — I do not apprehend the C. Congress will know of our 
intentions in regard to an Agent before Wood gets with 
you, as I presume he will carry the Resolve with him he 
was the Father of the proposition & was suspected by some 
of us of having an intention to get the place for himself or 
his son, & dreading the consequences of such Men getting 
into a place where money wou'd be intrusted to them they 
got it carried in Assembly that proper security shoud be 
given by the person who was appointed & that the Security 


should be approved by the C. Congress, hoping this wou'd 
be a sufficient Barr to their getting it as they imagined they 
wou'd not be able to obtain the Security — I have pur- 
chased in the Lottery of the United States the following ten 
Ticketts: N98,141, 98,142, 98,143," 98,144, 98,145; 98,146; 
98,147, 98,148, 98,149 & 98,150 which must beg the favour 
of you to attend to & renew them for me in the next class 
as I mean to carry them through the several Classes. I 
am hopefull they may produce as much as will defray the 
expence but if not I must beg of you to do it for me & let 
me know the sum you are oblig'd to advance for that pur- 
pose. I should be glad to be inform'd from you that 
Mr. Dorsius's Bills Was paid, since my last to you we 
have heard of Rains's being safe in Bermuda but that 
they was so closely watch'd by the Men of War that there; 
was no getting out, the first opportunity I suppose that he 
can Embrace & he will push for this place so that we may 
have some hopes of the Adventure by him turning out 
well, yet every thing is exceedingly scarce & dear great 
Voyages might be made if we coud prosecute them ; I am 
hopefull towards Winter we may be able to send back- 
wards & forwards again and am w'th regard 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay 

Savannah Aug't 10th 1777. 
Edward Telfair, Esq 
Dear Sir: 

I hope before this you are well settled to business 
labouring w'th Anxious Care for Millions yet unborn & I 
woud also be glad to learn you had been able to effect any 
thing for this unhappy ruind State, but I must own when 
I reflect on the various applications this State has made 


to Congress, the large sums she has from time to time rec'd 
from it, without rendering any proper Account of the 
Expenditure, add to w'ch our general Conduct as a State 
I must say that I doubt your success ; if I have any Idea 
of Mankind or from livihg so long among men, who if not 
devoid of Common sense, yet Acting, I mean as a Com- 
munity, always Contrary to it, I say if — I have not from 
this Circumstance quite forgot what is plain reason & the 
nature of things in general, I think a Delegate in Congress 
representing the State of Georgia is far from an agreeable 
situation, & to a feeling mind who has the good of his Coun- 
try at Heart a most uncomfortable one, & when I reflect on 
the late Expedition & the Circumstances relative to it being 
laid before Congress w'ch I dare say it will be both by the 
Gen'l & Gov'r, I think it one of the happiest Circumstances 
of my life I did not go with you, & should matters appear 
there as I think they will, I do most sincerely Pity you, 
Expence & Discord may be our Motto — Our Money is 
depreciated to a great degree since you left us Negros with- 
out any particular Qualifications sell very Common from 
5 to £600 & upwards, all kinds of Dry goods are excessive 
high Butter sells a 10/ & Candles 12 a 15/ ^ lb & so on. 
We have rec'd the Account of the Engagement between 
our Army & the Enemys & tlio' in its consequences it does 
not appear to me We reap any particular Advantages, yet 
it will give our people Spirits, & Establishes to a Certainty 
our Military Character — from the public papers I think I 
gather Clinton had reached N. York, w'ch Amazes me, his 
force must be great, or ours very small, or surely he could 
not have effected such a March, I hope Estaing w'th his 
fleet is gone there & if so I think if we push on the Land 
Side Clinton may yet be — Burgoyned — our Necessitys will 
sell the Tory Estates as soon as the Assembly meets, & if 
our next Gov'nr turns General (w'ch as most of his Prede- 
cessors have done, there will be little reason to doubt he 
will do so also) in w'ch Case I think by the time he has 
reigned his Year out there will be a Necessity to sell every 


Estate in the State, for God Almighty seems to have doomd 
us for destruction, & that it shall be our own doing, & we 
shall never rest till we have Compleated it, for I dare say 
there never was a State existed that had so little Honesty 
or Patriotism among its members as the State of Georgia — 
this may seem to be passing a hard Judgement nor woud 
I wish the World in general to have the same opinion of 
us, I dare say you concur with me in it, shoud any thing 
particular occur before an opportunity of forwarding this 
offers this shall advise you — and am with great regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

J. Clay. 

Savannah, Sept'r 29th 1777. 
Mess. Bright & Pechin 

The foregoing is Copy of my last to serve in failure 
of the Original, since which I have received your favours 
of the 13th May & 30th June, the former covering several 
Sales which have not had time as yet to Examine but 
Dare Say shall find them right — I notice you had purchased 
another Sloop & the cause that prevented your getting out 
I heartily wish 'twas otherways cou'd we keep a small Ves- 
sel or two running we might make a great deal of Money 
if they went safe. We are under great Anxiety for your 
Safety — the last Acco'ts we had, if true, were very Alarming, 
that was that Burgoyne was at or near Albany, every thing 
seems to me to depend on a very Strenuous exertion this 
Summer & fall, which if attended with Success will I 
Imagine put an end in a great measure to many of our 
present Distresses & troubles — an Expedition is much talk'd 
of by the Tories against this or So. Carolina, or both — if 
they are Successfull with you I presume they will hardly 


think it worth while, & if not, I do not think they will be 
able to attempt it, as they must know we may with great 
propriety in that Case, expect large Reinforcements from 
the N'ward — by this time I imagine tis more than Probable 
something Capital must have happened — God grant us 
Success. I am very glad you have got the Dove's Cargo 
up, I am sensible it must have been attended w'th great 
trouble & expence, but I am not without hopes the Sales 
will afiford it. Dry Goods are very high just now, as is 
Rum & Sugar & all kinds of W. India Produce, tho' as 
Winter comes in I expect we shall have many Vessels 
dropping in and of course then Goods may be expected to 
be cheaper — Our Coast has had several Men of War on it 
this Summer notwithstanding which I believe as many (if 
not more) Vessels have got safe in than have been taken 
& as Winter comes on we Expect the Chance will be by 
far more in our favour & besides which we Expect there 
will be fewer Men of War Cruising on our Coast — this will 
be handed you by one of our Delegates, Mr. Edward Lang- 
worthy, he is not a Character so Conspicuous as to have 
supposed him intitled to so Exalted a Station among us 
however I am in hopes he will prove himself as becomes 
an honest Man — he was formerly a School Master & is a 
Man of Considerable Abilities — he had my son Joe under 
his Care a considerable time — if it shou'd come in your way 
to be Civil to him I shall esteem it a favour — his Colleague 
is Joe Wood who is sufficiently known to you. I hope we 
shall soon have an open Sea Communication between us 
& am with great regard. 


Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. I have just now heard w'th great pleasure of 
General Stark's success against General Burgoyne 


Savannah Sept'r 29th 1777. 
Hon'ble Henry Laurens, Esq'r 
D'r Sir: 

The Scouts from Augustine have for some Months past 
been continually making incursions into our State for 
Cattle & I believe they have carried some away lately from 
the No'side of Great Ogechee, this to our very great shame 
they have done with very little interruption, for though we 
have had generally for some Months past from 10 to 1200 
Men on the Continental Establishment besides what we 
have on the Pay of the State not the smallest Check has 
ever been giving to these People for sometime past except 
within this few Days past tho' tis will known the Number 
of the People who have committed these depredations have 
never exceeded 150 including Indians & that there never 
was half that Number out at any one time — this is very 
much complained of by the Inhabitants & with great reason 
that they cannot be protected from such an inferior force — 
from what cause all this can proceed cannot with certainty 
be ascertain'd but to Mismanagement of some kind it must 
be owing, want of good Officers & strict Discipline I 
believe is one of the Principal causes for our Men are cer- 
tainly as good & are Endowed with as much natural Cour- 
age as any other, of course the like services may with Pro- 
priety be expected from them. The last week a party of 
the Continental Troops came up with the Florida Scout 
about 50 in Number on the North side of the Altamaha, 
Engaged & drove them, Killed one or two Men & took a 
Number of Cattle from them some Horses Saddles &c & I 
"believe a party is still in pursuit & I wou'd fain hope may 
come up with them before they get out of the State. 

There is two or three Prisoners taken, from whom we 
learn that their chief Subsistence in Augustine for some- 
time past has been from the Cattle their Scouts have drove 
from this State — We received yesterday a Confirmation 
of the Action near Bennington under the Command of 


General Stark w'ch promises fair & gives great Spirits to 
all true Friends — the Tories here talk much of being 
relieved (as they call it) very shortly by their Friends in 
Augustine w'th what foundation can only be conjectured. 
We are but badly prepared for a formidable Attack. Our 
Divisions & our mode of Government both Distress us & 
prevent our going on with that Expedition in putting our- 
selves in a proper State of Defence. We ought to do — 
However I have no doubt we shall do well in the long run. 

Mr. Jervais wrote me you desired your Money in this 
State to be invested in Land. Mr. James Baile}'^ has 
informed me of a Tract on Cat Head Creek belonging to 
one Fulton which he says is a good one & that the Owner 
is inclined to dispose of it — I have desired him to inquire 
further about it & to know their price & inform me — Mr. 
LeConte (who I believe is a pretty good Judge of Land) 
likewise Recommend it to me. I have only to assure you 
that I am with respect 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

J. C. 

Savannah the 15th October 1777. 
Brigadier General Howe 
Sir : 

I wrote you on the 8th Ins't in Answer to yours of the 
1st which you will receive by this Conveyance no Oppor- 
tunity offering sooner, since which I have received your 
favour of the 5th Ins't by Major Demere — I am too well 
acquainted with the manner the Continental Troops have 
been managd & paid to be surpris'd at your having heard 
continual Complaints & Murmurings on that Subject, how- 
ever notwithstanding there may be several who have cause 
to complain of their not being paid, or if paid yet not paid 


regularly, I believe there are others who have received 
larger sums & Allowances than they coud have received 
had their Accounts been regularly Examin'd & certify'd 
agreeable to the Regulations of the Continental Congress — 
I will do every thing in my power while I hold my Office 
to reduce things into Order & Regularity with all the Expe- 
dition in my Power, and to Establish such a plan of Busi- 
ness as may be in general follow'd by those who succeed 
me, but I cannot have any retrospect, I can only look for- 
ward. I cannot think of attempting to make out out a 
Regular State of Accounts from the time the Army was 
Established down to the Day I assume my Office, tis an 
undertaking I cannot venture on, nor is it hardly possible 
for any one to accomplish it, if any one in this State can 
do it, I believe I can, being from a constant Engagement 
in the public Service of the State in a civil way, as well 
acquainted with the Accounts of the State if not better 
than other person in it, but the Mode of paying the Army 
has been so various, sometimes by the Treasurer of the 
State to the Officers individually, without any regard to 
whom or which of them, but just as he had more or less 
influence with some of our Demagogues to obtain an 
Order for Payment, & latterly principally to the Regimental 
Pay Masters, many of whom I believe have not been the 
most Regular in their Business or the best acquainted with 
it, so that an attempt to bring up & settle the Past Accounts 
wou'd be a most arduous Task, & cou'd never be com- 
pleated in such a manner as to render even a tolerable 
Degree of Satisfaction or to answer a Valuable purpose, 
And if it is required or expected of the Deputy Pay Master 
General of this State, to bring up all the past Accounts, 
I absolutely decline having anything to do with it. I do 
not believe I could hire a Clerk in this State only to copy the 
Accounts out fair relative to the Army from the time they 
were Established to this Period for the sum allowed the 
D. P. M. G. ^ Annum as ^ the list you enclosed me (50 D : 
^ month & 6 Ra :) much more to state them properly and 


make the necessary inquiries into them, in accepting the 
Office to begin the Business with the Appointment I sacri- 
fice my own private Interest to a great degree, far beyond 
what the Salary can compensate, indeed it is no object 
with me, my leading Motive is to serve my Country, but 
my Family have likewise some claim to my attentions — I 
do not mean by not having any retrospect, that if I shou'd 
find out by any means in the course of my Office that any 
Fraud or Mal-Practises have been heretofore practised by 
any one in Office that I will not take notice of it. No, Sir, 
nothing of that kind shall escape me, be the Culprit who 
he may — every thing of that kind that come to my knowl- 
edge you may depend on being informed of immediately. 

I do not apprehend that the Continental Congress 
expect that the D. P. M. General of this State is to Settle 
or bring up the past Accounts, because I see by a Resolve 
of theirs passed I think in August last (or about the time 
they made the several late legislations for the Army in 
this State) that they have Voted a Sum for the Use of this 
State and at the same time appointed Commissioners to 
Examine & Audit our public Accounts so far as relates to the 
Continental Expences defrayed by us, and to Credit our 
State with the Amt. of such sums as shall appear on Exam- 
ination to be due it, and to pay or order to be Paid the 
Amount thereof into our Treasury whatever it may be and 
at the same time they Voted 300,000 Dollars to be paid me 
as D. P. M. General in this State for the Payment of the 
Army, & in Case the Sum Voted for the purpose of Dis- 
charging the Debt due this State from the United States 
shall be found insufficient for the Purpose, that then the 
said Commissioners are Empowered to draw on me for 
such further sum as may be necesary, and if on the other 
Hand the sum Allowed shall be more than sufficient to 
Discharge the debt due us from the United States they are 
to pay the Overplus into my Hands for the Use of the 
United States, So that I apprehend these Commissioners are 
appointed for the express purpose of Liquidating & 


Auditing all the Continental Expences that has been 
Expended and defrayed in this State from the begining 
of the present Contest to the time they took the Regulation 
of the Army into their own Hands & appointed their own 

I apprehend the Money ordered by C. Congress is now 
on its way here, as yet I have not received any, nor any 
Instructions on that Head, I presume when necessary I can 
have what Money I please of the State or I may draw on 
the President of the C. Congress (when I have no Money 
in my Hands) for the Amount of the Commander in Chief's 
Warrant or Warrants tho' I am not clear whether the 
Resolve that Empowers the Pay Master or D. P. M. G. to 
draw on the President does not confine it to the purposes of 
paying off the Militia. 

I have been this Day consulting with Col'l Elbert on 
the business of my Office & the most eligible way of carry- 
ing into Execution so as to answer the purposes intended 
by it, & find myself much at a loss in many particulars. 
I have thrown together what appears to me the general 
several of the Resolves you inclos'd me so far as is neces- 
sary to put the Business agoing, which I have herewith 
inclosed you for your Opinion & I have made two or three 
Memorandums of Matters I am at a loss about which wou'd 
be much oblig'd to you for your advice therein. 

I believe the Regimental Abstracts hitherto used in this 
State have not been very regular or agreable to the Form 
usually made use of in the Army, I shou'd be very glad if 
I cou'd obtain a Copy of a proper one that I might put the 
different regimental Pay Masters in a right way at once 
as well as of the Rolls that are to be made out Monthly of 
all the Officers in the State not Compris'd in the Regi- 
mental Abstracts. 

I hope you'll excuse this freedom & the trouble I give 
you, which I know I have no right to do, but the earnest 
desire I have to draw this State out of its present Dis- 
tracted Situation, & to bring it in some degree of Credit 


& reputation with its Sister States, I hope will plead my 
Apolog"y. We are in general Novices as to the knowledge 
of Government, both Civil & Military, & have little means 
of obtaining information among ourselves & I look on it 
in the Business I have undertaken (as well as all other) 
the Principal Care shou'd be to begin well, lay a proper 
and regular System down to go by, and then the trouble will 
be half over, both to myself, and any other person who 
shou'd succed me. 

I am with great respect 

Your most Obed't Serv't 
Joseph Clay. 

16th Oct., P. S. — On reconsidering the matter of the 
Deputies at the different Posts, I do not see why the Regi- 
mental Pay Masters may not do that business, it wou'd be 
a Saving to the States & make but very little Odds to them 
as they must give their Attendance where their Regiments 
are, at any rate they might do the business for a very 
small addition to their present Salary I coud give them 
if necesary a Deputation which I wou'd believe would be 
proper as they ought to give me Security for the faithful 
performance of the Trust. Perhaps there may be an 
Impropriety in this which I do not See wou'd therefor sub- 
mit intirely to you and am as above, 

J. C. 


Savannah the 16th October 1777. 
Hon'le Henry Laurens Esq., at Philad'a 
D'r Sir: 

Since my last to you I have received your several 
favours of the 20th Aug't & 2d Ulto, the latter ^ Dr. Hous- 
ton who arrived here last Saturday Evening, who gives us 
a very pleasing and Interesting Account of our Affairs 
Northerly — he mentions a very considerable Detachment 
of Howe's Army I think 2000 being killed or taken, this 
is of course considering the Situation of theirs & our Army 
of great consequence as I apprehend Howe's Army cannot 
be reinforced at present of Course we are so many stronger 
& he so many weaker the Moments with us are now Pain- 
ful for the Circumstances allow us to have great Expec- 
tations & raises our hopes to the highest Pitch yet two 
such Armies so near each other hourly expected to Engage, 
the Events of which is of so great Importance to us, that 
its impossible for us to be indifferent in such a Situation. 
Mr. Baillie, has brought a Quantity of rough rice in Bar- 
rels since I wrote you last, I think 44 Blls. which falls far 
short of the Quantity he expected to bring occasioned by 
his being disappointed in a Boat, the Expence and trouble 
of bringing the rice around in the Rough & the little Value 
it is of when brought here I think will hardly quit Costs 
I have proposed to Mr. Bailie the beating of it out, for his 
opinion he thinks he cou'd soon do it with a Strength of 
Hands, I have wrote to Mr. Gervais on the Subject this 
Morning to know how far he thought it practicable or for 
your Interest — Provided I cou'd procure a small detach- 
ment to be Station'd on the Island while the People were 
Employed in beating it out without that it wou'd be the 
height of Folly & presumption to attempt it, I believe I 
cou'd procure 25 Men to be Stationed there while the 
Negroes are beating out the Rice which I should imagine 
woud be sufficient to protect them against any ravaging 
Party Si they woud always be informed of any consider- 


able force time enough to quit the Island for which Purpose 
they must have always with them a sufficient Boat or Boats 
to carry them all off at once. I have heard from the Fultons 
that they want to dispose of their Tract Land which 
Mr. Baillie says is a very good Tract & that it wou'd suit 
you very well, they ask in a general way 40s ^ acre and 
pay't in So. Carolina Currency as they want to move into 
your State should the Continental Curr'y Voted for this 
State soon Arrive the difference of Money would be of no 
great matter for when it once comes to be in circulation the 
difference of money between the two State will not be 
much for some time I expect to see one of them soon 
in the interim, I have desired Mr. Bailie to ask whether 
they woud take one half of the Purchase Money in this 
Curr'y. I have mentioned this matter also to Mr. Gervais. 
Your information in regard to the Vacating the lands of 
the Absentees was very true, this infamous law for I can 
give it no other appellation nor ever did not even in the 
House that pass'd it ; indeed it cou'd not be said to be pass'd 
by but impos'd on the Plouse the Bill was brought in with 
that Clause relative to the Vacating the Lands of all 
Absentees who did not come into the State within Six 
Months from the Passing : I opposed it in ever}^ View Gener- 
ally as being improperly timed. I thought it was no time 
Grant away Lands (for the express purpose of the Bill was 
for Granting Lands by opening the Land Office) and in 
particular as to the Vacating the Lands of the Absentees 
observed on the numberless Acts of Injustice they wou'd 
commit in passing: Widows, Orphans, Minors, Friends 
absent themselves on various occasions some of them per- 
haps & not a few risqueing their Lives in the field in our 
Defence while we are giving their property away many 
joined me in opinion & the Clause was totally rejected, 
the Bill went through the House without it was ordered 
to be Engrossed w'hich was done accordingly, & the fore- 
mentioned Clause inserted in it & through hurry & Con-- 
fusion at the breaking up was by some manner or other 


imposed upon the Speaker who Signed it — this may seem 
surprising to you who are not acquainted with a Georgia 
Assembly such as they now are. Forms in which Public 
Bodies are almost the very essence they do not suit us we 
know nothing about them, we cheifly meet to carve out 
some way of Fleecing the State, accomplish it in the best 
manner we can & then break up, go home & live on the 
Spoils of our Country This a Melancholy Picture did I 
not know your Attachment to our State I wou'd not lay it 
before you, I by no means intend to expose my Country — 
God forbid — I have & shall use all the means in my power 
to Save her & raise her reputation & which I assure you I 
have great hopes of even this wicked Act is an Omen when 
the House met again the Validity of it was called in Ques- 
tion & denied as an Act of the House, no one was hardy 
enough to own it tho twas well known numbers of our 
Inhabitants had alloted to themselves the Lands of 
Absentees & were ready to seize on them at the Expiration 
of the time. However so much as related to the Lands of 
Absentees was repealed without opposition & the matter 
done intirely away — I am obliged to you for your good 
Opinion of me & for recommending me to the Post of D. 
Paymaster General for this State, this Appointment has 
laid me under great difficulties in my own mind on many 
Accounts & it was with difficulty I cou'd come to any 
Determination — it has been my constant opinion to have 
nothing to do with any Offices where Salaries were affixed 
since our present contest began. I have been offered them 
in almost every capacity within our own State, but as Con- 
stantly refused them; my chief objection arose from a 
Spirit of Avarice I saw Early take place among us which 
I was sure if not timely prevented woud bring on our 
ruin — I have seen nothing as yet to make me alter my 
opinion — I have given up almost my whole time to the 
Public (greatly to the injury of my Family) for this two 
Years past & wou'd never receive any thing for it, tho Act- 
ing in several Capacities which intitled me to it, but 'twas 


from the first a fixt Rule with me, that, that Principle that 
induced as to engage in the present Contest should have 
prompted every one who cou'd afford it, to render their 
services freely & that none but the needy should have 
received pay, unless it were the Military or Men who 
Engaged in Offices which took up their whole time & 
thereby prevented them from doing any thing for them- 
selves — & on the other hand the great Damage this State 
has suffered from Offices of every kind of getting into 
improper hands & Low People unqualified for them had 
great Weight with me. This has been too much the Case 
among us, & which has arose from nothing more than the 
Men of Abilities & Capacity and Fortune in general holding 
Principles incompatible & inimical to the American cause 
shou'd I have refused to Act immediately it might have 
fell into some such Hands as a Joe Wood perhaps or one 
of his Sons or Creatures whom I look upon to be as much 
real Enemies in effect to this State, from their levelling" 
Principles & Conduct as the King of Great Britain, or any 
of his Adherants another unsurmountable obstacle. Our 
Constitution says any Person holding a place of Profit under 
this State or any Military Commission under any of the 
United States, shall be deemed incapable of being a Mem- 
ber of Assembly, on the whole I concluded to take the 
appointment for the present, & have Declared if its thought 
incompatible with my Seat in Assembly, I shall if I am 
elected at the next General Election (which I have the 
greatest reason to suppose I shall) give it up immediately 
which I will do & have wrote General Howe to that Pur- 
pose — if I find I can render any particular service, by hold- 
ing it longer than till the Sitting of the Assembly & it 
shou'd be thought to incapacitate me for my Seat (which 
may be the Case, as Joe Wood tho a Deputy to his son a 
lad about 15 or 16 years of Age who was Pay Master to 
the 1st Continental Battalion was permitted to keep his 
during the two last sittings) I will do it — However in two 
or three weeks I shall be able To determine better — ^I find 


our Friend, General Mcintosh is called to the Northward 
which I am very glad of both for his own & the State's 
Sake, 'twas impossible for him to have, or give any satis- 
faction here, prejudice was so strong against him, Col. 
Elbert who now has the Command in his Room is 
universally respected and I believe his character as a sol- 
dier is indisputable he has paid great attention to Military 
matters for many Years past, & is a great Disciplinarian 
which is much wanted in our State — I heartily wish he 
cou'd be promoted so as to have the Chief Command in our 
State which I believe none but a Brigadier can with pro- 
priety do — he is better acquainted with our State than any 
Person that cou'd be sent into it — he is Active, Vigilant 
& Brave & takes great delight in his Profession which with 
me is every thing, twas owing to Gwinnett principally that 
he had not the 1st Regiment when it was raised. Gen'l 
Mcintosh's getting it was owing to a Compromise between 
the Parties in Convention. 

I am in hopes if the campaign terminates as we expect 
to the Northw'd favorable, that Congress will be able to 
strengthen this State, & if Possible, reduce our Neighbors 
the Floridians till that Province is Conquered we can have 
no Security our & your back Country People that are 
Disaffected are continually backwards & Forwards giving 
them every information our Domestics are running to 
them & Numberless other Grievances we are subjected to 
from our Vicinit}^ to them — We have the greatest reason 
to expect we shall be attacked by them, if not Avith a View 
to reduce us, yet in such a manner as to give an Oppor- 
tunity to their Scouts & Indians to carry off our Stocks, 
w'cli is & must be their chief support — cou'd they have 
been prevented Robbing us of our Cattle, I have been 
credibly informed they wou'd have been drove to the great- 
est straights long ago. Col. Elbert is now collecting the 
Troops in Order to Establish some Strong Posts, partic- 
ularly S'therly with a view to overawe the Floridians, & be 
ready to repulse any Attack but tis with concern I inform 


you that I heard him & Col. Habersham within this two 
Days say that the three Regments of Infantry wou'd not pro- 
duce 600 effective Men owing principally to Desertions, 
Sickness has carried a Number of the Third Reg't off, the 
first & second together have not lost exceeding 8 or 9 Men 
this Fall — the Reg't of Horse has been so managed & such 
irregularities in Officering, that it has never been of much 
service & little can be expected from it at present — We have 
two Troops of Horse & two Battallions of Minute Men 
which were raised under the pretence of Defending our 
Western Frontiers, but in my opinion the principal View 
was to make Offices & Places not that we do not want a 
Force to defend that part of the Country, we are in great 
want of it, but I have very little expectations from Troops 
(particularly in the back Country) who choose their own 
Officers, which was the Case with these except the Field 
Officers who were chosen by the Assembly — I hope if these 
Troops are kept they will be put under the Continental 
Generals — 'twas with the greatest difficulty we cou'd pre- 
vent our Assembly Resolving during the last Sitting to 
break out with the Creeks which if had taken place we 
must have been broke up as a State at once & yours greatly 
Distressed — this was principally push'd by the famous 
Col. Wells, the principal motive I believe plunder & Offi- 
ces — 'I hope the Congress will Embrace some favourable 
Opportunity to Chide us for our Folly, 'twou'd have great 
Weight & be of Service — the Situation of our Country lays 
so much on my mind that I don't know where to stop. I 
have already got to an immoderate length which hope you'll 
excuse — I shall only remark that I think the late Regula- 
tions Votes of Money for our Assistance will tend greatly 
to our advantage particularly if we can have Sense enough 
to improve them, & that we are under great Obligations 
to you for your Support therein, and am with great regard. 
D'r Sir. Your most Obed't Serv't, J. C. 
Gen'l Mcintosh sets off for Phil'a in two or three Days 
by whom shall trouble you again. 


Savannah the 21st October 1777 
Henry Laurens, Esq. 
D. Sir: 

I wrote you in great haste a long scrawl the 15th Ins't, 
Crude and indigested Col. Habersham was just going off 
for Charles Town from whence I suggested a safe Oppor- 
tunity for Phil'a might soon offer, as 'twas uncertain then 
whether General Mcintosh might go so soon ; as he did not 
appear then to be very positive when he shou'd set off; 
I am now to return you thanks for offering in so obliging 
a manner to be my Security as D. P. M, General for this 
State — I apprehend no further Security than yours will be 
required — I am sure it is not necessary; but least the Con- 
gress shou'd have laid down to themselves Rules or Regula- 
tions, by which one or more Securities are required on such 
Occasions I have wrote to my Friends Bright & Pechin 
to inquire of you relative to it & if a farther Security is 
required I have desired them to procure it for me — I 
believe I mentioned in my last that I had proposed to 
accept of this appointment at least 'till the meeting of the 
next Assembly w'ch will be in January next, & that then 
if I shou'd be again elected, to resign it, unless they wou'd 
allow me to keep my Seat & the office too, because I appre- 
hend I could render more Service to the State as a Member 
of Assembly than by holding the Appointment — I am 
intirely of your Opinion that the Importance of this State 
has not been Considered with that attention it deserves, 
nor have the Congress I believe been made Sensible of the 
great Advantage it may be to the United States in their 
Hands, & of how much Disadvantage it wou'd be to the 
common cause shou'd the Enemy be able to possess them- 
selves of it — & at same time of how little ability we are 
of ourselves to Defend it without their Assistance — I am 
afraid some of our Delegates have not been well enough 
acquaint'd with it themselves, & were they (or any one 
else) to form their opinion or ideas of it from the Resolu- 
tions & Conduct of our late Congress & Assembly they 


wou'd be grossly misled — there has been two States of the 
Prov'e made out and reported to our Congress — they were 
agreed to & the Executive Body Ordered to transmit them 
to the C. Congress for their information — but I am afraid 
they never reached them, if they did, I dare say Mutilated, 
because I do not think they were Agreable to the Ideas & 
Declarations of some of the Men in Power at that time — in 
them the many natural Advantages of this Country were 
Enumerated — the Number Enemies it is exposed to both 
Savage & Civilized, being a Barrier State, the Strength we 
have within ourselves, which is far very far short of suffi- 
cient to Protect & Defend us — how great the Sacrifice we 
had made in joining the Confederacy having Comparatively 
Speaking no hope of Defending ourselves against the fury 
of our Enemies, but must in all probability be subdued by 
them whenever attacked unless Supported by our Sister 
States which under Providence we hoped wou'd be able to 
bear us through, & in this Confidence, put every thing to 
Hazard — no other State in the Confederacy run so great 
a risque, all of them have some internal Resources for 
their Defence & their Sister States on each Side of them 
(New Hampshire excepted) ready to Support them. We 
on the other hand Surrounded almost on all Sides by 
Enemies & no internal resources of our own — before the 
present Contest began We never had in the best of Times 
3500 Effective Men in this State — this may be hard to 
believe, but wou'd the Compass of a Letter admit of it I 
cou'd give the most incontestable proofs of it — nor did we 
ever in one Year raise by Taxes a sum exceeding £3500. 
I know this may appear as Strange but my Knowledge of 
these things is from the best Authority — I always thought 
it my Duty as a Member of Assembly to make my self 
acquainted with every thing relative to the State of the 
Prov'e, to attain which I used to search the Different 
Offices & take every other means I cou'd to obtain infor- 
mation — the last Year Taxes were Collected, 13200 Negro's 
A^ere paid for, this I presume was short of the Numbei 


actually in the Prov'e as there is always some Delinquents 
& Negro's coming in after the lime of Year Taxes are 
Collected* — much has been said & propagated about the Dis- 
affected in this State — that their are many Disaffected in 
it is past any Doubt — ^but I believe no greater proportion 
than in any other State, & I believe fewer from Principle 
than in most — Fear from the very exposed situation of this 
State has operated very powerfully on many wel; Affected 
Citizens, who if a proper force had been Early Sent into 
this State wou'd have declared themselves & Acted very 
differently — this undoubtedly was wrong in them, but it 
must be considered rather as a human frailty than a Crime. 
I imagine at this Day what with the Numbers who have 
quitted the State, Entered into the Army &c, we cou'd not 
on an Emergency Collect together 1500 or at the uttermost 
2000 Militia let the Cause or Occasion be ever so Urgent. 
Yet Sir I believe it is within your knowledge that our 
Assemblies & Gov'r & Council have at times Voted & 
Acted as if we had 100,000 Men in it — as but the other 
Day our most strenuous Efforts were oblig'd to 
be exerted to prevent this State Entering into 
a War with the Creek Indians tho' at that very time these 
People as a Nation were giving us the most convincing 
Proofs of their Pacific disposition towards us — by driving 
Stuart's Deputies out of their Towns & burn'd their Houses. 
Wells was the Instigator or may have heard we Voted 15 
Battallion's of Alinute Men at one time — these & like Cir- 
cumstances I am afraid must have impressed Congress 
with strange Ideas of us shou'd they be in any 
degree formed from our Public Conduct & must be very 
different from what for our Interest they ought to be — 
Our Demagogues have usually carried their Extraordinary 

* From these Circumstances a great benefit notwithstanding will accrue 
to this State — Our Rate of Expence will be in proportion to the Number of 
Inhabitants, w'ch will be favourable to us & in tho next place beins a Young 
Country our Resources will be increasing & of course we shall be enabled to 
pay our Quota to the general Expence with much ease to ourselves, &. sooner 
perhaps than any other State In the Confederacy. 


Schemes by deluding the ignorant Members (of which we 
have too many) by telling them twou'd be a Continental 
Expence & of course be no great Burthen to them or their 
Constituents as we shou'd only pay an /88 part of the 
expence which wou'd be nothing, &c. I observe the Con- 
gress have Voted £100,000 for the purpose of reimbursing 
as Continental Expenditure, the sum we have emitted since 
the present Contest began is upward of £200,000. 

I thank God I see a Dawn of Hope arising amidst all 
our Distresses, the Fever abates, the Delirium decreases, 
& Men seem to be coming to their Senses. And if we are 
Prudent & some good Men among us have a little Patience 
& just Embrace Opportunitys as they offer & not force 
them things will soon come to Rights again. And if Con- 
gress was to take up any matter (& of w'ch I think there 
are many) & give us a little Chiding by way of Advice 
it wou'd Produce great good. Our Constitution which 
some good Men thought a very Valuable one is likewise 
working out its End, at least of the most exceptionable 
part — the late Grand Jury for this County presented as 
Grievances their being no Check on the Assembly — the 
unequal Representation, &c, tho' notwithstanding this 
Mr. Wood will say all the World like it & speak well of it 
that the People of this Country are very fond of it — And 
to set aside every objection that may be made to it that 
none but Tories find any fault with it & of course it must 
be all Perfection — my reason for troubling you with the 
Concerns of our State is my reliance & that of many others 
for the Interest & love of it in the Grand Council of tho 
United States is on you, as we know you have on mar.y 
Occasions demonstrated your Attachment & warm^ist 
wishes for its Happiness, Messrs. Walton & Brown' son 
we have reason to Expect are on their way home and the 
two who are now on their way, to succeed them I am afi aid 
wont to do us much honour. Wood has Sense but he 
wants real Patriotism & liberal Sentiments, if he d<>es 
good it will be for his own Interest, or because it is not 


incompatible with it, as to Langworthy tho a man of 
Sense in some Views — yet in regard to Government his 
Ideas are not very extensive — he may be an honest Man 
in honest Company — but he has no Steadiness or firmness 
in his composition — he will Court Popularity at the 
Expence even of his Understanding; the last Man with him 
is his Man such Characters never beget the Confidence of 
thinking Men — in my last to you I mentioned Col'l Elbert 
but least it should miscarry I wou'd take the liberty to 
repeat my Wishes in regard to him (& that of many others) 
that he might be Promoted so as to be continued in the 
Chief Command of the Troops within this State, which I 
imagine nothing less than a General Officer with Propriety 
can have — he is much respected by the Inhabitants in Gen- 
eral particularly the better part & I dare say woud give 
great Satisfaction, his Abilities as a Soldier I beleive are 
unquestionable, it was always his Delight & the Profession 
he has made his Study for several years past — and his 
knowledge of this Country puts it in his Power to serve 
us more effectually than a Stranger cou'd do, he is Active, 
Vigilant & Brave & will I am sure make it his whole Study, 
& I have not the least Doubt will be an honour to his 
Country and do Credit to the American Arms — I believe 
our Delegates will concur in his Promotion but I doubt 
whether they will be forward in Promoting it, for tho it 
has been the constant practice of General Mcintosh's 
Enemies (of which they are in the Number) to raise 
Elbert's merit in Order to depress the Gen'rs, & as it were 
to play off one against the other, yet I never beleived they 
had any real regard for him, nor do I beleive does Elbert — 
his Sentiments are too liberal for them & they know he 
will do his Duty as a Soldier & that with highest regard 
to the rights of the Citizen) yet they know he will not be 
impos'd on, nor Sacrifice the Service to their Caprice, by 
suffering any improper interferences of an ignorant Execu- 
tive Body — for 'tho the Enemies of Gen'l Mcintosh complain 
of his not being subordinate to the Civil Power, yet his 


greatest fault was in my opinion his giving up too much 
to them — I am rather Surpris'd I did not receive my Gen- 
eral Instructions with my Appointment relative to the 
mode of conducting myself I cou'd have Wished to have 
had something of the kind for my Guidance as I want to 
lay a regular Plan for carrying on the Business in future. 
I observe the Pay of the Galleys is not mentioned in the 
Pay list for the Southern department — nor of the Artillery, 
the former is much wanted, I am one of the Navy 
Board & we are under great difficulties for want of it to 
Guide ourselves by — Our Delegates have it in charge to 
procure them and send them with all Dispatch, I wish they 
may neither neglect nor delay the matter — When I men- 
tioned the rough Rice on Broughton Island I included 
part of what was sold to the Public they having 
not taken away more than 1200 Bushels of it, 
General Mcintosh told me a few Days ago he 
wou'd Order the remainder to be carried to the 
Main — the Commissary (Mr. Rae) has rather trifled in that 
matter, he Promised me a Considerable time ago he wou'd 
send a Man to receive it on the Island. I told him he 
might leave it there as long as he pleased after he received 
it. I believe his neglect has been more for want of proper 
People about him to do his Business than from any inten- 
tion however Col. Elbert is bound likewise to comply w'th 
the Agreement & shou'd it not be taken away agreable to 
Gen'l Mcintosh's Promise I shall Urge him on the Subject — 
We are in the greatest Anxiety to hear the fate of our 
Arms — We have heard of General Howe's being within 
a short Distance of the Schuylkil — God grant us Success 
& preserve our General in the hour of Danger, and am w'th 

Yours, J. C. 


Savannah, 21st October, 1777. 
Messrs. Bright & Pechin. 
Gentlemen : 

^Doct'r Houstoun I received your favour of the 9th 
Ulto. inclosing me a Letter from Capt. Wood — Air, Pooler 
is Dead & neither of his Partners are in Savannah as soon 
as I have it in my power I will Endeavour to do the need- 
full for him — I believe an Agent for our State will not now 
be wanting as the C. Congress have taken the management 
of the Army into their own Hands (where the greatest 
Expenditures lay) by Appointing their own Officers — I 
do not know positively that this will be the Case 'tis only 
my private opinion. 

I heartily Wish we cou'd resume our Trade again as 
usual & that your Port was only as open as ours — I hope 
by this General Washington has gained a Victory, it wou'd 
be a great Step towards relieving you of the whole Con- 
tinent — 'tis with the utmost Anxiety we wait for intelli- 
gence from your State — the last Accounts were not so 
favourable as the former ones — the Voyage ^ the Dove 
will prove a very profitable one if I had the time I wou'd 
have sent you the Sales of her Cargo here ^ this Convey- 
ance tho' you know the Prices every thing sold at — 'tis not 
in my Power to get a Vessel here but at a most Exor- 
bitant price — I dare say such a one as the Dove cou'd not be 
purchased under a Thousand Pounds our Currency which 
wou'd be more than the profits of the Voyage wou'd afford — 
as soon as your Ports are open 3^our Markets will imme- 
diately alter — & at present while you are Surrounded on 
all Sides by your Enemies the risque will be too great — 
the Prices of many Articles here are much altered & some 
not to be had, Deer Skins, Sole Leather & Beaver are 
Scarce ever to be met with — Indico that's good is from 15/ 
to 20/ (this Article I think will fall) Rice 10/, Dry Goods 
& West India Produce fluctuate — I shall expect if our 
Army has but tolerable Success, soon to see a Vessel from 


you & shall prepare Accordingly. We have but few Men 
of War on our Coast just now, however they must always 
be very cautious as a Day may make great odds — We have 
two Pilot Boats for our Bar. 

I received a few Days ago from Congress an Appoint- 
ment to be D. Pay Master General for this State — an Office 
quite unexpected & one I am by no means desirous of nor 
do I suppose I shall hold it long — 'twas owing principally 
to Col'l Laurens (one of the Car. Delegates) I believe that 
I was appointed — he is one of my Securities by an Offer 
of his own — I do not know whether more than one is 
required by Congress — in this instance it's not necessary — 
because he is quite sufficient for any sum that may be 
required as a Security — however least it shou'd I have 
wrote him that I shou'd desire you to inquire whether 
more than one Security is required, & if it is that you wou'd 
procure it for me — which must beg the favour of you to 
do — the Condition I presume is for the faithfull perform- 
ance of the Trust — Pray let me hear from you by all Oppor- 
tunities — I shall always drop you a line as they Offer and 
am w'th great regard. 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. — When the Men of War are on our Coast they 
are much frequenter off Charles Town than ours. 

Savannah Decem'b 5th 1777. 
His Excellency Major General Howe 

I received your several favours of the 8th & 17th, Ulto 
the former in Answer to mine to you relative to many 
matters to be carried into execution by the Deputy Pay 
Master General with your opinion thereon which I am 


very much obliged to you for; the latter advising me with 
your having advanced to Capt. Bradley of the Continental 
light Horse, One Thousand Dollars to enable him to march 
and bring into this State some men he had inlisted for that 
Regiment in the State of North Carolina. 

You may depend on my giving you the Earliest notice 
of the Arrival of any Money in this State for the Use of 
the Army. I am with great respect, 

Sir your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah Decemb. 6th 1777. 
Mr. John Lewis Gervais * 
D'r Sir: 

^ Col'l Habersham I received your favour of the 28th 
Ulto. I observe what you say in regard to the Rough 
Rice at Broughton Island the Price with you 20/ ^ Bush'l 
is an encouraging one, & I shall try hard to get some Craft 
to bring a load to you, tho' they are exceeding scarce & 
Freight very high yet if we even give one half for the other 
it will be much Better than selling it here since my last 
to 3^ou Mr. Bailie has brought 44 Barrels more from the 
Island to sunburry, where he sold it at 17/16 ^ Bll. 
Amount of w'ch i38-10/ our Money he has paid to me 
he is now gone for a nother load w'ch he has Engaged at 
the same place w'ch is much better than bringing it 'round 

I observe your opinion in regard to the land on Catt 
Head the restruction on the lands of Absentees is intirely 
done away the former Law, which was certainly a very 
unjust one, have been repealed by another law passed the 
last Sitting of the Assembly — In regard to the Wench you 
mention to be disposed of in case she will bring i200 hun- 

• Charleston, S. C 


dred Pounds Sterling, if you mean by that sum £200 our 
Currency I make no doubt it may be got for her, but if you 
mean that sum in real Sterling Money, or even in your 
Currency, I do not believe it cou'd be obtained if you mean 
£200 our Money I think it's less than she w^ou'd in all prob- 
ability produce in your State allowing for the very great 
loss there will (in all probability) be in Remitting Money 
from our state to yours at present the loss wou'd be enor- 
mous, I am in hopes when the Troops in our State are paid 
in Continental Currency that things will mend something 
in that respect. 

Our Successes to the Northward have been indeed 
great the hand of Providence has been very remarkably 
for us may we be truly thankfull for his Protection & Care 
Howe's situation is certainly desperate, shoud he fail of 
opening a Communication with his Brother by water I 
shoud not be surprised to hear he was obliged to Surrender 
himself & Army into our hands an Event which we might 
naturally conclude woud pave the way for peace on hon- 
ourable terms w'ch God Grant. I am w'th respects, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah the 16th Dec 1777. 
Mess. Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen : 

Since my last to you I have received none of your 
favours the present is to advise you with the Arrival of 
Capt. Rains with a fine fast sailing Schooner, Burthen about 
200 Blls. Rice he brought in a Quantity of Salt w'ch will 
Average about 16/ our Money ^ Bushel & some Rum w'ch 
we have sold for 30/ ^ Gall. & a very few dry goods he 
will be loaded again in two or three days for Bermuda with 


a Cargo of Rice where if he gets safe, 'twill yield a tolera- 
ble profit & the returns if he gets in again a very great one 
I am in hopes the Proceeds of the Cargo he brought in 
will repay us the Outfit & send him to sea again clear of 
any advance, tho' cannot be certain as his being so long 
out has made his Disbursements run high the Men of 
Warr that lay constantly of Bermuda kept him in port, they 
at last quit for want of Provisions & repairs & he push'd 
out. We have several Cruisers on our Coast tho mostly 
off Charles Town notwithstanding which we have more 
Vessels get safe in than falls into their hands & as the 
winter sets in (w'ch has been remarkably mild with us 
hitherto) the Chance will be much more in our favour 
shou'd they even remain on our Coasts w'ch I think tis 
probable they may not I hope before this Howe is a 
Prisoner or obliged to quit your state tho I woud fain 
hope the former We are inform'd by the last Acc'ts that 
his Army did not exceed 8000 Men tis Amazing to me 
in such a populous Country as yours, he was ever permitted 
to march 10 Miles backwards or forwards he could not 
have done more, if so much, in our very weak state the 
Disaflfected must be very numerous among you the conduct 
of the Quakers appears to me infamous some of them in 
my opinion from what I have heard of them deserve hang- 
ing if Howe is reduced I cant help thinking the worst will 
be over with us I hope you will soon have it in your power 
to resume Trade again as usual & that you will be able to 
get one or the other of the sloops if not both out very soon 
these are times with luck to make Money I have only to 
assure you that I am with regard 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Savannah Dec 15th 1777. 
Abraham Markoe Esq'r. 

Sometime ago a Negro of our State who had been at 
Charles Town call'd on me & told me that your Boatswain 
was in Jail there & that he had desired him to call on me 
to Ask me to try and to get him out I was much sur- 
prised at this & doubted the information 'till Capt. Bunner 
went to Charles Town who I desired to inquire into the 
Circumstances w'ch he did & found twas really so he had 
shiped on board some Vessel bound to Cha's Town as 
a Freeman & on the Voyage was directed* by the Capt'n in a 
Robbery who in consequence of w'ch on his Arrival at 
Charles Town put him into prison where he has remained 
ever since — I determined to advise you therewith for some- 
time past but the Situation of the times w'th you & the 
difficulty in procuring a safe conveyance prevented I 
woud have taken him out but did not know how far it 
might be agreeable to you & nother reason operated with 
me against my taking him out the fear that he might run 
from me w'ch he might very easily do by getting on board 
some Vessel or by pushing back to Charles Town and ship- 
ping there as a Free Man in the manner he did before 
however as the Avinter may affect him in Jaol I think of 
sending for for him here by the first safe Conveyance & 
lun the risque till I hear from you — I hope General Howe 
is before this Reduced & that you are in a state of tran- 
quility. This will be Sent to you by Dr. Read, 

• sic. 


Savannah Dec'r 22d 1777. 
Messrs. Bourdeaux & Atkinson 
Gentlemen : 

Since my last to you I have received your several 
favours ^ Capt. Bunner & of the 24th Ulto I shou'd have 
wrote you before this but have been waiting till I could 
settle with Mr. Houstoun in Order to have it in my power 
to transmit you my Acco't Curr't at same time which I 
have not yet been able to do owing to his Old Claim of 
being paid in your Curr'y w'ch he still insists on. 

I have wrote to Mr. Markoe relative to his Negro & 
was in hopes to have heard from him on the subject direct- 
ing what was to be done with him as the Season is now 
rather severe, & may be expect'd to be much more so 
very shortly he may suffer from laying in Confinement add 
to w'ch he must be a Continual Expence for w'ch reasons 
I wou'd venture to take him out & wou'd be oblig'd to you 
shou'd any safe Conveyance offer to this place inland to 
send him to me — I am not apprehensive he will attempt 
to get away before he arrives here as he has repeatedly 
sent to me to take him out of Jail & seems desirous of 
getting here — Mr. Gervais is sending a Boat to me belong- 
ing to Col. Laurens w'ch if not come away before this gets 
to hand wou'd be a good Opportunity his Jaol Fees what- 
ever they may amount to I will remit you ^ first Oppor- 
tunity after I know the Amount. 

In regard to Mr. Browns Account, tho I have not the 
least doubt of the propriety of it — I do not know what to 
do with it — Our State caa with no propriety be call'd on 
about it, they having received no part of the proceeds of 
the 1-3 of the Amity it was Condemned in our Courts but 
that was all, it was libelled by the Continental Agent, and 
Confiscated for the Benefit of the United States & paid into 
the hands of their Agent accordingly who will not pay 
any part of the Proceeds out of his hands without the 
Orders of the Continental Congress to whom only in my 
opinion the Application shou'd be made. 


In regard to the Deserters taken up by Capt. Allen I 
once mentioned it in our House of Assembly who neither 
absolutely refused payment nor yet agreed to Order the 
payment it was thought rather hard that any of the Officers 
of the dif^'t States shoud demand payment for any service 
of that kind as it was supposed to be a piece of service 
that their duty as an Officer in some degree made it incum- 
bent on them to perform whenever Opportunity oiYerr'd I 
am wishing you the Compliments of the Approaching Sea- 
son w'th respect. 


Your most Obed't Serv't 

J. Clay. 

Savannah 29th Dec'r 1777.. 
Mr. Philip Minis 

I have Considered about the Wine & will take Nine 
Pipes at the price you mentioned, that is One Hundred 
Pounds our Currency ^ Pipe if paid in this Curr'y, or Five 
Hundred Pounds Carolina Currency ^ pipe if paid in that 
Curr'y or Continental Money. 

I shall prefer paying for them in Car'a or Continental 
Money if in my power on Acc't of the diff'e of Price but 
least I shoud not, woud Choose to have the Option of pay- 
ing in either as I may find Convenient, or in Case I coud 
make out to pay for a part of them in Car'a or Continental 
Money woud expect the same difT'e in price to be made 
in proportion to the sum paid if this proposal is agreeable 
to you I will desire Capt. Rains to receive the Wine & see 
if filled up & am 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Savannah March 5th 1778. 
Mr. John Lewis Gervais, Esq 
D'r Sir: 

^ Monsieur Le Vacher I rec'd your esteem'd favour 
of the 20t'h Ulto unluckily since he has been here I have 
been confined by a Sore Throat & fever, tho' I thank God 
am now pretty well recovered w'ch has deprived me of the 
pleasure of being so well acquainted with that Gentleman 
as I wish'd the wench Betty I sent for from Wrights 
Savannah for Col'l Elbert with whom she now is, but she 
makes really a very poor figure indeed reduced I presume 
by Sickness Mr. Springer wrote me when he sent her that 
she had been long sick & he was afraid she woud lose one 
of her Eyes however there is no danger of that now she 
being much better than when she first came over but is 
still so poorly & weakly that she can render little or no 
service and withal appears Elderly, her appearance is 
extremely against her & no one will purchase her & give any 
thing of a price for her unless they are particularly 
acquainted w'th her Qualities I have acquainted Col'l 
Elbert w'th 3^our determination in regard to the price of 
her w'th wiiich he seemed much dissatisfied & I believe 
will decline taking her if so I must send her back again as I 
am sure her present appearance will not command a price 
at public Sale she had hardly any Cloaths when she come 
over Mr. Elbert has given her some woollen Cloaths & she 
has been attended by a Doct'r ever since she has been here 
both of w'ch were absolutely necessary & indeed she seems 
to have reap'd much benefit since she has been here if they 
return her I presume they will expect to be reimbursed 
these Expences as she has not been able to render them any 
services in lieu of them. 

I am very glad to learn the Boat got round safe I do 
not think there is or will be any danger in proceeding to 
Broughton Island again they must always be cautious to 
prevent being surprised or entrapped Your Assembly in 

my opinion have Acted very w^isely respecting the recom- 
mendation of Congress relative to confiscations we have 
gone into the matter very largely & that in a way that I 
fear will neither do us Credit nor render us much advantage 
as a State, I am w'th great respect. 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't ' 

Jos. Clay. 

Savannah 12th March 1778. 
Ralph Izzard Jun'r Esq'r 

I was in hopes I shou'd have had the pleasure of seeing 
you before you returned to Carolina the several Accounts 
against me & Joseph Clay & Co. due to the Est of Mr. Stead 
I am very desirous of having setled as soon as possible, as 
it by no means suits us to be paying Interest on Money 
we have no use for, & which it is a very great hardship 
even to be left in our hands more especially at a time 
we can make no Use of it nor do we think it resonably or 
just that we shoud pay Interest for a Debit we can neither 
remit or pay to any one, which is the Case now, & has been 
for sometime past. We know it is also hard on Mr. Steads 
representatives that they cannot have their Money remitted 
to them agreeable to contract & are very willing to do 
every thing in our Power that can be reasonably expected 
of us to make them ample satisfaction. 

Our House of Assembly were about passing a Law 
to oblige all Persons, who have any Moneys in their hands, 
belonging to the British Merchants or subjects of the King 
of Great Britian, to pay the same into the Treasury of this 
State, how far this is just or right I will not say, but nothing 


but the Country members being tired of Staying in Town 
prevented the Law passing, tis thought the Assembly will 
be called again very shortly when I make no doubt it will 
be the very first Business they will go upon, I shoud wish 
if possible before this happens to settle the Debt we are 
due to Mr. Steads Estate with you if you have a power to 
receive the same, I presented your Memorial to the House 
but as the Law it alluded to did not come into Debate it 
was not taken under Consideration, it is very uncertain 
what may be the determination on it when it is considered 
You are very sensible tis not in our power to comply with 
our original contract the paying the Debt in G. Britian, & 
its more than probable may not be in our power for many 
Years, if during our lives, for God only knows how long 
the present War may last, every thing in very precarious, 
we have now very large sums due us in this Country & are 
possessed of property enough to discharge our contracts 
with great ease to ourselves but how soon may be the case 
be reversed, an Attack on this weak Country woud, the 
perhaps not complete the intire Reduction of it, be the means 
of depriving us and many who are indebted to us of the 
means of paying any thing to those we or they are indebted 
to. This is far from being an improbable supposition, but 
what if the War continues any time may with the greatest 
reason be expected, what we woud wish is that if you have 
a power to receive the Debts myself & J. C. & Co. are due 
to Mr. Steads Estate that you woud take the same into 
your Consideration &. point some way that we may have 
it in our Power to discharge it perhaps we may be able 
to pay you a part in So. Carolina by means of Continental 
Money, or you may choose to invest part of it in Lands ir^ 
this State & which I think may be done to advantage, so 
as to prevent any loss, I shall very probably set off for 
the Northw'd in four or five Weeks time, before which I 
shoud wish to come to some agreement or settlement with 
you on this Head, and have only to assure you that any 


plan that you can point out by which we can make you 
satisfaction, we will if in our Power comply with, I shoud 
be very glad to hear from you on the subject as soon as 
possible, and am, with respect 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Mr. Josiah Smith, Jun'r. 
D'r Sir: 

I received your esteemd favour of the 24th Ulto which 
I should have answered before this but the very confused 
State of Public Affairs here prevents that attention to other 
matters that otherways woud & ought to be given the 
Act you mention is one of those things that has given great 
uneasiness which in its very nature was fraught with injus- 
tice, & its Circumstances as to many of the objects it reached 
which can be only known generally here was Still worse this 
County have given great opposition to the operation of it, 
so far as a general disapprobation of it goes & have peti- 
tioned the Assembly, who are to meet the 27th Inst, to 
reconsider it & recommended Sequestration instead of con- 
fiscation & I believe most part of the State will concur in 
that opinion unless it may be the St. Johns people whose 
Zeal so often lead them into Violent Actions that nothing 
but that & their want of a more general knowledge of Men 
& things can plead their excuse. The Commissioners or 
some of them who were appointed to Act in this County 
began as is generally said to Act as if the Estates had been 
confiscated for their sole benefit instead of the States which 
first gave the Alarm here & laid the foundation for the 
Opposition it has met with w'ch was & is so general that 
some of the Commissioners have resigned & the others 
not have not for sometime past taken on them to Act so 


that the Law is in effect Suspended for the present Never- 
theless as its uncertain what the Assembly may determine 
in regard to it I woud advise your sending a Power of 
Attorney here as soon as convenient w'th a Stated Acct. 
in Order that your Claim may be immediately made in 
Case the Act shoud be enforced I have several Claims 
to make for myself which I have not yet given in nor do not 
intend till I know the determination of the Assembly I 
will make yours at the same time w'th my own & do every 
other matter relative to it for your Interest therein & will 
advise you what further Steps may be necessary as they 

We have suffered very much from Fire within this 
four or five Weeks & what makes it very Alarming we have 
the greatest reason to Suspect they have been done on purT 
pose the last which happened on Friday last broke out in 
two places at the same instant happily one of them was 
extinguished immediately the other Burnt 9 or 10 Houses 
before it was Stopped Our Galleys say three of them 
attacked three of the enemys Vessels last Saturday which 
were in one of our inlets to the So'ward & took them with- 
out the loss of a Man the Enemys Vessels were well 
manned & made a Shew of Resistance but as the Galleys 
came near to them & finding I suppose their Shott too 
heavey for them they of a Sudden took to their Boats & 
quit their Vessels without firing a Gun or setting fire to 
them the Galatea was in Sight at the same time working 
up to their Assistance the Vessels are two Brigs the Hin- 
chinbrook the Rebecca & a Sloop of 8 Guns the Galatea 
was at the Anchor in Jekly Sound when the Express came 
away an Attack was meditated on her shoud a favourable 
opportunity offer We are very apprehensive of an Attack 
from the So'ward w'ch woud not have given us any uneasi- 
ness but for the very great additional Strength they have 
been for some time past & are daily receiving from the 
great Defection in your Back Country who are daily going 
over to them By a Capt. of a Vessel who was taken & 


carried into Augustine w'ch he left in a Small Vessel only- 
three days ago we are informd that the last Party that left 
your County of between 3 & 400 were arrived at Fort 
Tonyn on St. Marys that they give out there that they 
expect 700 more immediately after them however this I 
hope your Government as they are forewarned will prevent 
We have heard of many small parties crossing from your 
Country for some Months past of 5 & 6 at a time & I 
believe one Party of above 20 this Capt, from Augustine 
also mentions that Bacchop was to Sail the Day after him 
to Cruise on our Coast in a fine large Bermudian Sloop 
(formerly belonging to one Stammers) she Mounts 14 Guns 
and has between 60 & 70 Hands among w'ch are 3 or 4 
good Pilots w'ch join'd to Bacchops own knowledge of the 
Coast may make her very formidable to our Trade I am 
w'th great regard 

D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos'h Clay. 

Savannah May 19th 1778 

^ Mr. Wood I received an Order dated York Town 
18th March last drawn by the President of Congress on 
the Commissioners of the United States Loan Office in 
this State for 202.423 Dollars payable to me or Order a 
Copy of which you have inclosed in consequence of which 
I have apply'd to the Commissioners (Messrs. Obryen & 
Wade) for pay't who have promised to discharge the Ball'e 
due on the Order so soon as they are in Cash w'ch in all 
probability will not be for some Weeks to come as it 
depends intirely on an Emission of paper bills credit 
Ordered by the Assembly at their last meeting to be 
immediately struck off the Printing of w'ch I know is not 


as yet even begun the Commiss'rs of the Loan office talk 
of deducting all the sums they have paid for Army Uses 
since they were appointed Commissioners, which will 
amount by a List of sums they shewed me to upward of 
120,000 Dollars, including the sums they have paid me 
which does not exceed 50,000 Dollars, the other part of the 
sum consist principally of Draughts paid by them in favour 
cf different Officers, it also includes the iSOOO p'd to Col'l 
Elbert or his Order just before the Troops Marched from 
this Town I do not think I can consistently allow any 
Discount from the Order except for such sums as I have 
received myself. 

The Assembly Voted i60,000 for the Use of the Army 
& they directed Messrs. Stone & Davies to pay the Loan 
office Certificates lodged in their Hands by the late 
Governor to the Commissioners, (Obryen & Wade) 
appointed to Countersign them w'ch I understand they 
refuse to do, if so we shall be deprived of them till they 
are forced out of their Hands by Law. Mr. Wood brought 
with him 250,000 Dollars in Continental Curr'y which 
appears b}^ a resolve of Congress to be part of the sum of 
500,000 Dollars granted by them to this State for the Sole 
purpose of calling in the Curr'y of the State that has been 
Emitted for the purport of the Continental Troops, as ^ 
the Enclosed copy of said Resolve which I received from 
the President Mr, Wylly Since w'ch Capt. Lucas of the 
4th Reg't has arrived here & brought with him the Remain- 
ing sum of 250,000 Dollars, which Col. Elbert directed him 
to pay to me for the Use of the Army & to which he has 
no objection, but as it appears very clearly to me to be the 
Remainder of the sum granted by Congress to this State, 
I cannot think I have any right to receive it without some 
further Authority. 

Our Assembly Ordered ^ of all, the sums Borrowed 
by the State and for which Certificates was given by the 
Treasurers to be immediately paid off out of the sum 
brought by Mr. Wood, after doing of which I understand 


the State will have remaining in its Treasury upwards of 
i20,000 in Continental Curr'y to answer any exigencies of 
Government, exclusive of the 250,000 Dollars brought in 
by Capt. Lucas, so that I think the State might lend that 
sum to the Army for a time without any injury to itself, 
or at least a part of it, till they can be reimbursed by Con- 
gress which there can be no doubt woud be immediately 
done. The Money has not, that I have been inform'd of, 
been Demanded of Capt. Lucas by the State the President 
I have talk'd with on the Subject, he I believe woud be well 
satisfy'd that the Army had it but as the matter stands he 
does not think he can do anything in it — perhaps if you 
were to write to the Governor he might agree to lend it 
I presume he is on his March So'therly before this as I 
understand he was to quit his camp on Ogeechee the 
begining of this week. 

Capt. Lucas remains here & will retain the Money 
in his Hands till he hears from you unless it should be 
demanded of him by the State in which case he woud be 
at a loss how to Act & perhaps not know how to refuse 
delivering it up — it was delivered to him from the Treasury 
without any particular directions or Orders, he says, twas 
expected he woud have overtaken Mr. Wood before he 
reached Georgia, in which Case he should have delivered it 
to him without hesitation as he understands it woud 
have been sent by him (Mr. Woods) coud the Treasury 
have furnished him with it before he left Congress. 

We have nothing new here that can be depended on, 
tis said a Vessel arrived at Charles Town from France 
brings an Account of a general Embargo having been Laid 
in that Kingdom which gives rise to various conjectures. 
I am with great respect 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Qay. 


Major General Howe 
20th. Capt Lucas since writing the foregoing has 
delivered the Money to the President & taken his Rec't 
for the same in a special manner which he will shew you 
he found there was like to be some uneasiness on Acct of 
his keeping the Money in his hands which induced him 
to this Step I have understood that the Governor is 
expected here before he proceeds So'therly & that he will 
probably be in Town within three or four days at farthest. 

Savannah May 30 1778 
Major General Howe 

I rec'd your favour of the 25th Inst, and have agreable 
thereto appiy'd to Mr. Obryen for the Ball'e of the Draft 
drawn on him by Congress as one of the Commissioners 
for the United States Loan Office, & at same time 
acquainted him that I expected to receive it in Continental 
Currency as no other Money woud be equal to the sum 
drawn for in answer to which he acquainted me that he 
coud pay in no other Money but the paper Bills of Credit 
issued by this State that he was directed to issue and lend 
the Continental Loan Office Certificates for the Curr'y 
of the State, which he had done, at least so many of them 
as had been put into his Hands & that no other Money 
cou'd have been obtained for them he further acquainted 
me that he woud endeavour to furnish me with from five to 
ten thousands Pounds on Monday next I have mentioned 
to Mr. Wereat the contracting for a Post Rider to go 
between Savannah & the Army the Man you mention, 
Richardson, is gone Express to Congress for the State, 
we neither of us know of any other Man to be procured 
who is willing and able to undertake the Business perhaps 


Person might be procured out of the Army fit for that 
purpose on much easier Terms than any we coud hire, & 
possibly more to be depended on for his punctuallity I 
shall write you again in two or three days, or so soon 
as I receive any Money out of the Treasury advising you 
therewith and am with great respect, 

Your most Obed't Servt 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah May 30th 1778. 
Honbl'e Henry Laurens Esq'r 

I shoud have wrote you before this informing you with 
the State of your concerns, here so far as they had come to 
my Knowledge, had I not expected to have been with you 
before this when I shou'd have had the pleasure of acquaint- 
ing you with them in person & which nothing has pre- 
vented but the very distressed condition of our State the 
Continual depredations from E, Florida of almost every 
kind both by Land & Water the Machinations of our 
Enemies amongst ourselves supported & Encouraged from 
that country, w'ch has too evidently shewed itself amongst 
us lately, particularly in the back parts of your State held 
so dismal a prospect to View as rendered the Idea of leav- 
ing a Wife & Eight Children (the Eldest of whom between 
13 & 14 years of age) intolerable, & I may say to the highest 
degree imprudent at this juncture as they woud in case 
of any Invasion or Public Calamity during my absence have 
been intirely helpless — ^We are now with Assistance of your 
State carrying on an Expedition against that Country 
which if Successfull will remove many of our distresses, 
give Security to our State & promote the general Cause 
Necessity has Reduced & drove us to this Step, we coud 


not debate on the subject, matters were Ripening so fast 
that either we must reduce them or they woud subdue 
us, the Daily increase of Men they were obtaining from 
the defection of the back Country people woud have made 
them so formidable in a Short time that they woud have 
over run us, & rendered our Situation so very uncomfort- 
able that we must have either quitted the State or Sub- 
mitted to them Whereas if Succeed every thing will go 
on well with us in a short time Our Trade will increase w'ch 
has been greatly annoyed from Augustine Our Lands will 
be better cultivated, & we shall have more time to 
attend to & regulate our internal Police & fall on some 
means to pay off & Fund our Debts the depredation of the 
Floridians to the So'ward for some time past preceeding 
our Troops marching that way made it extremely dangerous 
the attempting to fetch any Rice from Broughton Island a 
party of them were once or twice on the Island though I 
do not learn that they did any considerable damage there, 
since I wrote you last, we have had 1066 Bushels brought 
to Sunburry & sold there a 2/ ^ Bushel & Mr. Gervais I 
make no doubt, informd you that he had purchased a Boat 
for the purpose of bringing Rice from the Island & that he 
had received some from there w'ch produced a better price 
than it woud have done here as well as gave a considera- 
ble advantage from the difference of Money the Army now 
Marching to the So'ward have also had some of the Rice, 
what Quantity we do not know. Mr, Baillie sets off this 
Day for Broughton Island by Water in Order to bring 
some more away I get an Account of what has been taken 
away for the Use of the Army there has always been a 
White person at the plantation till within some time past, 
the last person that lived there was killed by some of the 
Floridians between Broughton Island & Yekly where hq 
had been or was going on some Acc't or other I have been 
Acting or rather Endeavouring to Act as D. P. M. G. to 
the Army in this State for between 2 & three Months past, 
but the want of Money has rendered it impracticable for 


me to afford any affectual service in that Department. I 
have at this time Drafts on me drawn by Gen'l Howe for 
several thousand pounds & not a shilling in hand to answer 
any part of them I have advanced a considerable sum 
myself & the Agent, Mr. Wereat, has done every thing in 
his power, & has supplyd the Gen'l with all the Cash either 
of his own or the United States that he coud lay his hands 
on, & I believe the Gen'l has also borrowed of Individuals 
this is a very distressing Situation & must be attended to or 
the Consequences may be very fatal I believe I might have 
borrowed Money at 8 ^ Ct. Interest or I coud have 
obtained Cash for Bills on Congress had I any Authority 
to draw or Borrow, But I have none that I know of, indeed 
I never received any Instructions or line on any matter 

within my Department except one Dated the March 

last from the Auditor Gen'l Mr. Gibson inclosing me the 
Draft for 202,423 Doll's on the Commissioners of the loan 
Office I have mentioned these matters to Mr. Telfair, on 
of our Delegates who I hope will lay them before Congress 
in Order that some remedy may be apply'd to prevent the 
Army being at any time hereafter reduced to the same 
Situation the State has Voted a sum for the Use of the 
Army say £60,000 if the same shall be necesary part of 
w'ch is now Striking off & Signing & in 4 or 5 Days I 
expect to receive a part of it, this will afford a supply for 
sometime but some provision must be made for the future 
tis with the utmost reluctance that the State advances a 
shilling to the Army not so much for want of the will as 
the means they have very little dependence on raising 
any sum adequate to its wants But by Borrowing at Eight 
^ Ct. Interest or limitting Paper Bills of Credit When 
the Money the Congress sent here Mr. Wood arrived we 
were paying Interest for near £140,000 our Curr'y Bor- 
rowed principally for Army Uses And we have Emitted 
so much in paper Bills of Credit, that the Value of it is 
reduced to nothing & every Article of produce (Rice 
excepted) and Merchandise is risen to an extravagant 


height in price Indico 20/ ^ tb Corn 12 a 15/ ^ Bushel Beef 
2/ ^ tb Butter 6/ & 7/ ^ & Rum 60/ ^ Gall. Osnabr'gs 
12/ a 15/ ^ yd. & so on the Prices of Goods have been 
raised from Complicated causes, two principally tne one 
the large Emission of Paper Bills Credit, the other a Spirit 
of Extortion nursed & kept up by Jews & others worse than 
Jews who are contin'ly buying up every Species of Goods 
they can lay their hands on & selling them out again at 
advanced Prices these kinds of dealers in my opinion are 
greater Enemies to the United States & do them more injury 
than the Fleets &: Armies of G. Britian. It is with equal 
reluctance the Army receive their pay in the Curr'y of this 
State & they complain of it overmuch & w'th some reason as 
their whole pay for a year if paid to them in this Curr'y will 
not maintain them at this juncture three Months whereas 
if it was paid them in the Curr'y of the United States the 
Case woud be very differrent as they coud purchase every 
Article they stand in need of for near half the price they 
can do w'th our Curr'y. The Continental Troops in this 
State have never received one farthing in any other Money 
than the paper Bills of Credit Emitted by this State from 
the first Hour the}^ came into it to this minute w'ch has 
been equally prejudicial to the State, I hope you will 
excuse my trespassing on your time with these very disa- 
greeable Subjects but they Engage my attention so much 
that when I touch on them I hardly know when to leave off. 
I can hardly expect the favour of a line from you as very 
moment of your time I know is & must be devoted to 
matters of the highest moment & consequence to the United 

I am w'h respects and regard 

D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Savannah June 2d, 1778. 
Messrs. Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen : 

I was in hopes before this to have had the pleasure of 
hearing from you I have wrote you several Letters w'ch I 
presume have not come to hand. Mr. Telfair who comes as 
one of the Delegates to represent this State carry's this 
with him w'ch I hope will come safe to hand — I think the 
time is not far off when we shall have peace restored to 
our Land & the Tyrant obliged to acknowledge his Folly. 
If War between G. B. & France takes place w'ch there seems 
to be but little doubt of they must withdraw Troops from 
this Continent, & many of their Frigates & Cruisers from 
cur Coasts which will give a great opening to our Trade 
& be of great serivce to us in every other respect. Rains 
has made a Second Voyage to Bermuda & will proceed in 
two or three days on a third the last Voyage will be a 
profitable one, the one before not so much so, how the 
present one may turn out we can't Judge. I was in expec- 
tation of coming your way this Summer, but am afraid I 
shall not be able to get away in time so as to get back before 
the Winter sets in and if so I shall decline it altogether I am 
very sorry to learn by a Letter that your J. B. was a 
Prisoner in Philadelphia I hope he is before this got his 
liberty. I cannot help thinking if the dissafifected among 
you were not very numerous that Howe coud not have kept 
possession of the City so long as he has internal Enemies 
are the worst we have & do us most mischief & are least 
intitled to any indulgence we have suffered from them much 
we are now carrying on an Expedition against East Florida 
w'th an intent to annoy them as much as we can & if in our 
power to reduce them — I have only to add that I am with 
great regard 


Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. — Mr. Telfair is one of Rains's Owners. 


Savannah June 2d 1778. 
Major General Howe 

Since I wrote you last I have rec'd from the Treasury; 
five thousand pounds w'ch I have paid to Mr. Rae agreable 
to your Order & taken his Receipt for the same. I expect 
to receive a further sum to Day w'ch shall apply in dis-' 
charge of your Orders as they come to hand. Mr. Rae 
acquaints me he has made a Considerable purchase of Capt. 
McCullough, for the Use of the Army that if he cant get 
the payment for them made in Bills on Congress he, 
McCullough, will allow a very large discount on the 
Amount of the purchase, I think he says 25 or 30 ^ Ct. 
this is worthy of Consideration, & will occasion so great a 
saving to the United States as to fully justify such a Step, 
the Amount of the Articles purchased by Mr. Rae he Says 
is near £7000. I have told him that I shall have no objection 
to take upon me to draw for the Amount, which I will very 
readily do & State the reasons to Congress for so doing 
provided you give an Order for the sum & approve of my 
drawing the Bills, in that Case. I believe it will be necessary 
that you shoud write to Congress at same time advising 
them therewith by way of Letter Advice to the Bills a 
Circumstance of this kind might in my opinion be of service, 
it woud serve to conceive* Congress how much the Army 
Suffer'd by being paid in the Curr'y of this State & how 
great a saving to the United States there woud have been^ 
if the several Articles & Stores necessary for the Army in 
this State coud have been purchased with Continental 

Mr. Rae is applying to me for a further sum of Money, 
he says he is in great want of it, & that the procuring pro- 
vision for the Army depends much on his getting it. I am 
at a loss how to Act, on the one hand I have no Authority 

• Sic. 


to pay any Money without your Order, & on the other I 
wou'd be sorry to see the service injured from too punc- 
tilious an attention to form, especially at this Critical junc- 
ture. Mr. Cowper who is gone for the North'wd desir'd me 
to remind you of a sum of Money lent by him for the Use 
of the Army, w'ch he woud be glad to receive as soon as 

I am with respect 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 4th June 1778. 
Major G. Howe 

I have this day received out of the Treasury Seven 
Thousand Pounds & Mr. Rae urging the necessity of being 
supply'd with a further sum before he went to Camp I have, 
pd. him Five thousand two hundred & fifty Pounds out of 
it, this I hope will meet with your Approbation, & that you. 
will furnish him with your warrant on me to that Amount. 
Capt. McCuIIough I am inform'd from Mr. Rae has alterd 
his mind in regard to the payment of the goods bought of 
him, his demand now is the Curr'y of the State, rather 
than allow any discount on Bills, this alteration in his 
opinion I am induced to believe as been effected from the 
late favourable Advices from Europe, he Says he had 
rather lend our State the Money at 8 ^ Ct. Interest than 
pay a Prem. on Bills I believe I coud furnish the Money 
in a Day or two if requisite but I told Mr. Rae that I coud 
not pay him a farther sum before he had your Order which 
I presume he will apply to you for, 

I have paid away the Chief part of the remainder of 
the £7000 to several persons who had your Orders for the 


I have pd. them all but shoud very glad as the Continental 
Congress require it, that in future they may be Counter- 
Signed agreable to said regulations I have also pd. Mr. 
Waudin i22-3-6 this Day ^ your Order, which I am at a 
loss how to Enter, it not being spccify'd in said Order for 
what service or in department the said sum was to be 
apply'd or be charg'd to; — which by the Regulations of 
Congress they shoud be in Order to enable the Auditor 
General to make proper Entrys from them. 
I am w'th regard 

Sir, Your most Ohed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah May 30th 1778. 

I rec'd your favour of the 19th March last mentioning 
a Warrant on the Commissioners of the Loan Office for 
two hundred & two thousand four hundred & twenty three 
Dollars w'ch I rec'd ^ Mr. Joseph Wood & have 
acquainted Major Gen'l Howe therewith. I have pre- 
sented it to the Commissioners who promise to pay me 
the Ball'e due thereon so soon as they are in Cash for the 
same, the Money I have already received will be deem'd 
as part of the said Draft, as the sums paid me by the 
Treasurers was out of Moneys raised from the sale of the 
loan Office Certificates. Our Liegislature having appoint'd 
the Treasurers Commissioners to Countersign the said 
Certificates & apply the proceeds to the Use of the Army. 

Inclosed you have my Accounts from the time I rec'd 
any Money for the Use of the Army to the 30 April last viz : 

from the 1st of March last to the 31st of said Month 
Amount of sums paid by me for the use of the Army during 

that time as ^ said Account 11761.. 13..11^ 

from the 1st April to the 30th of said Month amount of 


Same. I observe some of your Orders drawn lately not 
Countersig-ned, w'ch I presume has been owing to Accident 

Ditto P'd by me for D'O during that time as per ditto 


And there remains a Ball'e due me by the United States 
of £1929..8..10^ being so much advanced by me out of my 
Private Cash. You'll observe I have not p'd a farthing 
but by Orders of Gen'l Howe who is Commander in Chief 
within this Department, but in Case of his absence from 
the State which often happens as I shoud (his principal 
residence has heretofore having been in So, Carolina) I 
shou'd be at a loss to know whether the next Officer in* 
Comm'd within the State woud have the same right & 
Authority to draw on me, & Whether his Orders & War 
rants woud be sufficient Vouchers for my paying any 
Moneys — the Resolves of Congress Say no Person Shall 
have Authority to draw but the Commander in Chief 
within the Department what is considered a Department 
in this Instance I am not a judge of, I know the Congress 
have in some Case Divided the United States Generally 
into Departments that is Nothern, Southern & Middle, 
but whether in Army matters it is Considered in the same 
manner I wish to be inform'd, I have not made out any 
Acc'ts for this Month, what has been paid being so exceed- 
ing trifling for want of Money to pay with that it was not 
worth While, the Army has been reduced to the greatest 
Distress in this State for want of Money, the Gen'l has 
had great difficulty to keep things in any tolerable degree 
together for want of it, I was at a loss to know in what 
manner to make out my Accounts no form being pointed 
out by the Resolves, or whether they were to be Cer- 
tify'd by the Gen'l or sworn to had the Gen'l been here 
I shoud have got him to have Certifyd them Whether 
requisite or not, but he is a very considerable distance 
from this So'therly with the Army — I have just made out 
a plain Acc't Curr't Stating the several Payments as they 
were made & have Endeavoured to explain the services 


they were paid for so far as they came to my knowledge, the 
Resolves of Congress direct that Abstracts be made up 
Monthly of all such Officers who are not comprised in the 
Regimental Abstracts, which at present is impossible to 
be done in this State, there being no Certify'd Pay list 
to form it from within it, that I know of I have a Pay list 
for the So'thern Department for the Infantry, as it stood 
in June last but its said there are many Alterations since 
that Period, nor does it contain the Pay of several Officers 
who I presume shoud be included in the abstract. Quarter 
Master, Muster Master & Commissary Gen'ls & their 
Assistants nor does it go higher than a Brigadier Gen- 
eral. We have no pay list for the Artillery or Cavalry, 
It is absolutely necessary that a Complete list shoud be sent 
as speedily possible, till this is done & the Army properly 
& regularly supply'd with Money, Army matters cannot be 
put on a proper footing, I do not know whether these 
matters lay within your Department or not, if they do not, 
I hope you will excuse my troubling you with them, I 
have never received a line from any one relative to my 
office since my appointment, but from you, nor do I know 
where properly to apply for Information, I woud wish to 
obtain it that I might have it in my power to render as 
effectual services as possible, which was my only motive 
for undertaking it. 
I am, 

Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't, 

J. Clay. 

Savannah June 8th 1778. 
Major General Howe 

I rec'd Yesterday your favour of the 2d Inst, and have 
only to assure you that you may depend on the Exertion 
of every means in my power to obtain as soon as possible 


a sufficient sum of Money to discharge the Arrears of Pay 
now due to the Army, I have day this rec'd £5242.. 10s out of 
the Treasury which with what remain'd in my hands of 
former sums makes upwards of £7000 now in my pos- 
session for the Use of the Army, I will also immediately 
look out for a proper person to Act as Pay Master at the 
Camp so long as you shall judge necessary. In Order to 
expidite the paying of the Army the Regimental Abstracts 
shoud be made out immediately by the several Regimental 
Pay Masters, by which we shall learn what sum will be 
necessary to discharge the Arrears now due & woud sub- 
mit it to you whether they shoud not be directed to make 
them all up to one fix'd Period, or at least every Company 
& Officers in the same Regiment, w'ch has not I believe 
hitherto generally been the Case, in those I have received 
I notice the Rolls for the Companys in the same Regiment 
are not made up tjj the same time, nor have all the Field 
& Staff Officers Pay been made up to the same period, the 
making them all up in the same Regiment or Battalion to 
one time in my opinion woud tend to prevent Errors or 
Impositions, the Rolls & Abstracts shoud likewise be more 
particular than they have hitherto been, the end & inten- 
tion of them is to promote regularity, & as far as may be 
prevent Frauds, to do which the Rolls shoud specify under 
seperate Columns every Mans Name, their Station or 
Office, when inlisted or the Dates of their Commissions, 
for what time they were inlisted for, their pay ^ Month, 
from what time the pay is due, to what time its charg'd, 
& then the total sum each Private or Officers Pay Amounts 
to, these are in my opinion essential requisite's in every 
Pay Roll, few or none of which that I have seen have had 
them. I am not sufficiently acquainted with the nature 
of them to know whether they shoud not contain other 
matters perhaps their shoud be a Column for remarks 
specifying whether the Men are all present, or whether 
any of them have Deserted & when, &c. I know the 
present juncture when the Troops are on the March is 


not favourable for establishing Regulations nor will the 
various necessary matters that must take up all your time 
& attention, afford you leisure to Consider them just now, 
nor can it be expected, nor shoud I have mentioned them 
had they not when the Paying of the Army was the Sub- 
ject naturally have arisen out of it. I woud notice one 
other matter that is whether the Regimental Pay Master 
shoud not Account frequently for Moneys they receive on 
Abstracts or otherways, not one of them have accounted 
with me as yet. Perhaps it may have owing to the very 
confused & distracted Situation of Affairs for sometime 
past & the Army having been on the move. I have rec'd 
from Mr. Wm. Matthews Muster Master Muster Rolls 
for the several Battalions Artillery Companies & Regi- 
ment of Light Horse made up to January & February last. 
I am w'th respect, 

Your most Obed't Serv't, 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah, June 20th, 1778. 
Major Gen. Howe 

I this day rec'd your Letter of the 11th Inst. — Capt 
McCoullough has been gone for So. Carolina some days 
past. I understand the Chief Justice, Mr. Glen, is his 
Attorney with whom I will take care and Settle the pur- 
chase Mr. Rae made of him, I woud have done it this day 
had the Chief Justice have been in Town, I have been 
very much disappointed by Mr. Bards not coming to you 
w'th money as I expected, but hope in three or four days to 
have some other Person on the way with it to you, I have 
near Ten Thousand Pounds now by me, & have not the 
least doubt but I shall be able to procure by some Means 


or other a sufficient sum to discharge the Arrears, 
due the Army, & to Answer every other purpose you may 
have occasion to draw for in future. Dr. Houstoun apply'd 
to me this day relative to a Number of Sick at Sunburry 
belong'g to the Army, who he inform'd me were in want 
of many Necessarys that coud not be procur'd without 
Cash, & that the Commissary of hospitals had not any, 
considering the Situation of these Poor Unhappy People 
& how hard it woud be on them to want any thing that 
necesary & can be procured — I have desired him to pur- 
chase what may be wanting, & promis'd to supply the 
Commissary with whatever sum may be necessary to pay 
for them, I hope this will meet with your Approbation, 
& that so soon as the sum expended in this Business is 
ascertained, I shall receive your Warrant as a Voucher for 
disbursing the same, and am with respect. 
Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't, 

J. Clay. 

Savannah, June 26th 1778. 
D'r Sir: 

I received yours of the 24th Inst. & am exceedingly 
sorry to Learn the Situation of our poor Soldiers, tis 
intirely out of my line to supply money in the Manner pro- 
posed, Nevertheless it must not on this occasion be wanted. 
Humanity & every other obligation forbid it, I have wrote 
Capt. Maris ^ this opportunity relative to the Business, 
the Commissary of Hospitals wou'd be the properest per- 
son to conduct the Matter, & into whose hands I shou'd 
for regularity sake rather have chosen to have paid any 
Money for the use of the Sick, however on this occasion 
I shall not hesitate to pay it in that way that will the most 
speedily & effectually relieve these poor people from their 
Distressed situation. 

I presume you have heard that Bochop & Osborn are 


Both taken & Carried into Charles Town, it may be 
depended on as a fact, tis reported & I believe on tolerable 
Good Grounds that Jas. Moore is Killed & his Brother 
taken, we have no other News here, that any dependance 
can be placed on, Shoud you find anything further 
Necessary to promote the recovery & welfare of the people 
under Your Care that I can be of any assistance in, you 
may depend I will very chearfully render it, and am w'th 

D'r Sir, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 
Dr. James Houstoun 

Savannah June 26th 1778. 

I received Yours of Yesterday's Date, relative to the 
poor Sick Soldiers at Your place, it is by no Means within 
my line to Supply Money in the Manner proposed, nor can 
I have any voucher for any Sum paid by me but by the 
General's written order, the present Case is Certainly a 
very extraordinary one, & such a one as calls loudly for 
immediate relief, nor shall I hesitate a Moment to afford 
every Assistance in my power so far as Supplying the 
Sick may render Necessary the General appointed Mr. Box 
Commissary of Hospitals who in my opinion, shoud by 
himself or some person under his appointment, supply & 
provide every thing Necessary for the Hospitals & to whom 
all Sums requisite for that purpose shou'd be paid & the 
Expenditure accounted for by him, I shall Mention the 
Matter to him, in the interim, that these poor people May 
not Sufifer You may depend. I will reimburse & furnish 
every sum that may be necessary to provide them with 
what they stand in Need of. The Commissary shou'd sup- 
ply every thing that may be wanting & you draw on me 


in his favour, he had best Kept a Separate Ac't of what he 
Supplies the Hospital & Your orders shou'd mention 
Specially the Sums drawn for as for the use of the Hos- 
pital — as to all arrears of every Kind. I make no doubt 
they will all be very Speedily Settled, the want of Money 
has prevented hitherto, but that I hope will not happen in 
future. I am w'th respect, 

D'r Sir, Your most Obed't Servant, 

Joseph Clay. 
Cap' Thos. Morris. 

Savannah, June 26th, 1778. 

I received Yours of Yesterday's Date and am truly 
sorry for the occasion, the great want of Money for the 
use of the Army has brought great Difficulty on it, & 
Embarrass'd all the officers Acting for it in their Several 
Departments & rendered their Duty extremely irksome & 
disagreeable to them, I have found it extremely so myself, 
however this has been & is an evil which I have the great- 
est hopes, will be Soon remedied, & that it will never hap- 
pen again to so great a degree. 

I have wrote Cap' Morris that I will immediately pay 
any Draught he may draw in Your favor for the purpose 
of Supplying the Sick Soldiers with such things as they 
may Stand in Need of until proper orders are given by the 
General for that purpose, the Commissar)^ of Hospitals 
wou'd in my opinion be the proper person to have provided 
for these People however they must, nor cannot want, 
what is necessary for them can be procured through any 
impropriety in the Means for obtaining them, t'would be 
inhuman & disgraceful to us as a State, as Hospitals 
Expenditures are particular ones, I woud advise Your 
Keeping a Separate Ac't of the Sums You disburse in that 


line as the Congress particularly recommend that all Expen- 
ditures of Money be particularly and Separately accounted 
for that the different charges may be properly arranged in 
the General Accounts. 

I am w'th regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah the 26th June, 1778. 
Mr. Will'm Gibbons, Sen'r Esq'r. 

Inclosed is a letter for Gen'l Howe informing him 
with the business you have undertake to execute & the 
sum you have with you to enable you to effect it, with 
which I woud wish you were at Camp as speedily as possi- 
ble, as the Army have considerable Arrears of Pay due 
them which for want of Money we have been prevented 
from paying as it became due. You have likewise inclosed 
a pay List for the Army in the So'thern Department also 
such Resolves of Congress relative to the manner of Paying 
it and the Duty of Pay Masters as have come to my hands, 
which must be your guide in the execution of this Busi- 
ness. You'll observe no Order or Warrant for Money can 
be paid but such as are drawn by the Commander in Chief, 
which Orders or Warrants so drawn must be Counter- 
signed by his Secretary, and they shoud specify generally 
the Service the same is to be apply'd to, these are requi- 
site, required & directed by Congress, the want of Money 
has prevented the Army being regularly paid off since I 
have been in Office nor am I acquainted to what time they 
were paid up by the several Pay Masters apointed by this 
State, in this we must endeavour to get the best information 
we can, & I will advise you with every thing that comes 
to my Knowledge relative thereto, I have paid the several 


Regimental Pay Masters as under being for Pay as ^ 
Abstracts, Viz. : 

Mr. Benjamin Odingsele Pay Master to the Third 
Battallion for pay due said Regiment to the 20th March 
last (Capt Rawleigh Downmans Comp'y excepted whose 

pay is only charg'd to the 1st of said Month) 3498..4..7^ 

Mr. Geo'e Randolph Pay Master to the light 
Dragoons for pay due Capt. Benjamin Walkers 

Troops to the 24th Feb'y last 1144..8..15^ 

Paid ditto for pay due the Third Troop to 20th 

March last 119..14..7 

do for Lieut. Jno. Billos* pay to the 12th March 

last 49.. 6..8 

do for his Own Pay as Pay Master to 22d March 

last 60 

£1373.. 9::iy2 
Paid Lieut. Col. Marburry ^ Order of Gen'l 
Howe for pay due the 4th Troop Dragoons to 

the 14th November last 676..0..0 

To do the due 6th to the 10 Oct'r last 75..0..0 

The above are all the sums I ever paid as pay to the 
Army & which I acquaint you with for your Information, I 
shoud have furnished you with the Muster Rolls but those I 
have received are so Old a Date that I do not apprehend 
they could be of much service in Checking the Pay Rolls, 
the latest Date of any of them, are to March last, I pre- 
sume they have been Muster'd since that Period or that 
they will be very soon & that I shall be furnished with a 
Copy of the Muster Rolls. 

In regard to the pay of the Army I apprehend it can- 
not be drawn for till every Capt. or Commanding Officer 
of a Company in a Regiment has made up the Rolls of 

• Sic. Should be Bilbo's. 


their several Companies, which for the Sake of regularity 
shoud all be made up to one time, that is in the same 
Regiment, as the Abstracts are directed to be made up 
Monthly — the Regimental Paymasters make up the 
abstracts from the said Rolls, & include therein all the 
Staff & Field Officers belonging to their respective Regi- 
ments, the Abstracts thus made out are to be first Cer- 
tify'd by the Col'l or Commanding Officer of the Regiment, 
and afterwards by the Brigadier or Commandant of the 
Brigade: When the abstracts are thus compleated they 
come into the Deputy Paymaster Gen'ls Department, who 
I conceive is re Examine them again as to v/hether the 
pay is fill'd up agreeable to the Establishment of Congress, 
whether they are agreable to the Muster Rolls, & that 
there are no more Officers commissioned or Non commis- 
sioned than are allowed to a Regiment, & also whether 
the sum is right cast & if they are, a Receipt is to be given 
for them to the Regimental Paymaster, who by that means 
obtains a Warrant for Amount of the Abstracts, which if 
we are in Cash is to be immediately paid taking a Receipt 
for the same, obliging them therein to promise to be 
accountable for the sum so paid to the Deputy paymaster 
Gen'l of the State or his successors in Office agreable to 
the Resolves of Congress, if the Abstracts on Rolls are 
found deficient in any of the foregoing Particulars I woud 
not give a Receipt for them untill they were rectify'd, or 
the Commander in Chief v/as made acquainted w'th any 
objections they were liable to, after which it he directed 
they shou'd be rec'd notwithstanding any improprieties or 
irregularities in the making them out or otherways, I shoud 
think it a sufficient Justification for receiving & giving a< 
Receipt for them immediately. 

As it will be necessary that you transmitt me the sev- 
eral Orders & Accounts of Money paid by you by every safe 
Conveyance, you had best take Duplicates of all receipts 
to serve in failure of the Originals. I have usually taken 
Receipts on the back of the Warrants, or Orders, those 


that are not taken on them shou'd specially refer to 
them, & their dates, & in all Entries for Cash paid be par- 
ticular to specify the service its to be applied to reciting 
the same as nearly as you can from the Warrants & Orders. 
I have only to request you v^ill keep me regularly 
advised with what sums you pay out, & as nearly as you 
can what farther sums you are likely to stand in need off, 
that I may have time to provide the same & remit it to 

and am w'th regard 

D'r Sir, your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah, 26th June 1778. 
Major Gen'l Howe 

This Will be handed you by Wm. Gibbons, Sen'r, who 
has undertaken to act as Deputy pay Master to the Army, 
& I flatter myself will execute the Ofiice to the satisfaction 
of all concerned as far as lays in his power, he brings w'th 
him twelve thousand pounds Current Money of this State, & 
I shall endeavour to remit him from time to time what 
further sums he may stand in need off to enable him to 
answer w'th Punctually the Draughts you may draw on 

I have furnished him with such of the Resolves of Con- 
gress as have come to my Hands relative to the Pay Mas- 
ter's Department, & given him every other Instruction in 
my Power, I wish we may be able to get the Regimental 
Pay Masters to make out regular Rolls and Abstracts for 
the Pay due their Respective Regiments they have been 
extremely irregular hitherto, & as I hope we shall not 
in future want Money to pay the Army it becomes due, if 
the Abstracts for each Regiment were made up to certain 
Periods it woud be better. 

In my last I acquainted you that Dr. Houstoun had 


apply'd to me relative to furnishing Money to provide 
necessarys for a number of Sick Soldiers at Sunburry; 
w^hich I had comply'd with, since w'ch I have rec'd Letters 
from Capt. Morris, Commissary Coddington & Dr. Hous- 
toun, who is attending the Sick at Sunburry, setting forth 
the Distressed Situation they were in for want of Money 
to provide for those People ; the Commissary and Capt. 
Morris say they have extended their Credit as far as it will 
go, that they cannot purchase any thing more without Cash 
& desire of me to assist them till they can procure proper 
Warrants from you for that purpose, as I could not bear 
the Idea of people in their Situation wanting any Assist- 
ance that coud be afforded them, being convinced it woud 
give you pain to know they wanted for one moment merely 
for form Sake, I have wrote them to draw on me for any 
sum they may have occasion for, to enable them to provide 
for the Sick Soldiers there till you give further Orders, 
Capt. Morris is to draw in favour of Mr, Coddington for 
what sums may be necessary, & I have wrote him to keep 
a seperate Account of the Expenditures for the sick, as I 
presume the charge shoud by some means or other be 
brought into the Commissary of Hospitals Acco'ts, Dr. 
Houston writes me of the 24th Inst, that 12 had died before 
he reached Sunburry, that there was then 117 there who 
were in a ver}^ poor way that they were 120 at Sapelo who 
were all in a fair way of recovery. 

As there will be considerable difficulty in getting 
Money carried Safe from this Camp, especially as I cannot 
procure it in very large sums so as to send sufficient sums 
at once to answer the purposes of the Army any length 
of time being oblig'd to collect in 2 or 3 thousand Pounds 
at a time, it will be of advantage to draw for as many 
sums payable here as the nature of the services they are 
intended for will admit, I am w'th respect, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 


Fra. Coddington Esq. 

D. Commissary Purchaser. 

Savannah, July 3d 1778. 
F. Coddington, Esq. 
D'r Sir: 

I have paid Dr. Houstoun One Thousand Pounds & 
have taken his Receipt for the same promising to pay it 
to you for the Use of the Sick & Invalid at Sunburry. I 
have given him the Order you inclosed, w'th a Receipt on the 
back of it for you to Sign, w'ch will enable him to take up 
his own Receipt from me. When you transmit any Orders 
in future that are Negotiable please to draw an Order on 
the back of it making it payable to the Person you choose 
shall receive it. I wou'd only notice that what sums I 
advance in this way must be apply'd to the immediate 
Relief of the Sick & Invalids within your Department. 
Nothing but the Necessity of the Case can be any Justifi- 
cation to me for paying it. Arrears due you must stand 
'till the General gives Orders for the Payment. I am 
Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't, 

J. C 

Savannah July 26th 1778. 
Mr. John Lewis Gervais, Esq'r. 
D'r Sir: 

I this day rec'd the inclosed Letter from Mr. Maxwell 
relative to a Negro of Col'l Laurens's that is runaway, I 
am rather afraid both from the tenor of the Letter, & from 
what Mr. Ballit* informd me that the fellow has hopes of 
being sold to some Person or other there abouts — I have 
not wrote to Mr. Maxwell on the Subject, Our Southern 
Expedition being ended I presume Mr. Maxwell is at home, 
& I woud hope he Will take some steps to secure him, as 
Mr. Baillie has talk'd w'th him on the Subject, however I 

• Balllle. 


intend to write him requesting he will Endeavour to appre- 
hend & have him Confin'd at Sunburry till we can send for 

At the particular request of Col'l Laurens I accepted 
an Appointment as D. P. M. G. to the Army in this State, 
w'cli tho' not very troublesome at present, yet affords me 
great anxiety for want of C. Money to pay them with, they 
having been hitherto paid in the Curr'y of this State w'ch 
they have always rec'd w'th reluctance, owing to its being 
much under Value of the C. Curr'y, but its now so much 
depreciated from the very large Emissions, want of a suffi- 
cient Trade & Extortion, that they almost declare they 
will not receive it any more, nor is it to be wondered at 
when Osnab'gs sells from 3 to 3>4 Doll's ^ Yd, Rum 16 
Doll's ^ Gall., &c &c, & add to w'ch our State has no 
Public Store to supply the Soldiery w'th at an under rate, 
of Course they cannot possibly subsist on their Pay, this 
matter has been represented to Congress & I make no 
doubt they will send Money to Pay the Troops very 
shortly, but in the interim we know no what to do my 
reason for mentioning this matter I woud be glad of your 
Opinion whether you think I coud obtain in your State 
10 or £20,000 Sterling or rather 70 or 80,000 Doll's in Cont'l 
or Car'a Curr'y for my Bills on Congress, even at a mod- 
erate Discount, Provided they could not be obtained at 
Par. General Howe I know woud do any thing in his 
power towards promot'g the business if it shoud be neces- 
sary I woud be very much oblig'd to you for a line relative 
to this matter ^ first Opportunity. I presume Mr. Baillie 
has inform'd you before this that all the Buildings on New 
Hope Plantation was destroy'd, you woud have heard 
from me before this but I have been almost constantly in 
the Country for sometime past, I hope Mrs. Gervais is per- 
fectly restored to her Health, and am with great respect, 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Savannah Aug't 5th 1778. 
Major General Howe 

I expected to have had it in my power before this to 
have sent you Rect's for the sums you advanced to the 
Copes, but when I came to pay them your Draft in their 
favour on me, they refused to allow any Discount from the 
Draft till the Receipt they say they gave you for the Money 
they received was deliver'd up, alledging that while that 
remained out they could not have a proper discharge, they 
also said they must have an Account & Receipt for the 
Amount of the Articles they rec'd of you, & w'ch they del'd 
to the Commissary of Issues ^ your desire, to be a Voucher 
for them on a settlement of their Accounts, I ask'd them 
why they did not make these objections to you while you 
were here, they said they did not occur to them at that 
time, & that they were ready to pay or Discount the Money 
whenever their Receipts were delivered up, & an Account 
& Rec't for the Articles delivered the Issuing Commissary.. 

On my return home the Evening I was with you I 
found the inclosed Receipts among my papers, w'ch I did 
not recollect that you gave me or said any thing about 
them, therefore, presume they got there by Accident have 
therefore taken this oportunity to return them to you. 

I mentioned to you my doubts whether Col'l Elbert 
coud with propriety agreable to the regulations of Congress 
draw on me for Money, I have reconsidered the matter 
&■ find my self streng'thened in that opinion, in some 
Instances the Resolves are positively against it, in regard 
to the Pay of the Army the Resolves Say the Abstracts 
shall be certify'd by the Comm'g Officer of the several 
Regiments & afterwards by the Brigadier, therefore for the 
same person to Certify & draw for the Payment likewise 
woud be an absurdity, I believe Col'l Elbert concurs with 
me in opinion, what sums he has drawn on me for I have 
or shall pay, but I shoud think it proper that you shoud send 
me a General Warrant to advance him what Moneys he 


may occasion for before I can be properly authorized or 
have a sufficient Voucher to enable me to Settle with Con- 
gress for any sums I may pay to his Order. 

We have nothing new or remarkable, the Discontents 
of the Army for want of pay run very high or rather for 
want of being paid in Continental Money, indeed such is 
the Depreciation of our Curr'y that it is the highest injus- 
tice to think of offering them it but what can be done till 
Congress affords us some Relief, I know not, if Money can 
be taken upon Bills in Caro'a to such an Amount as woud 
afford any Relief I woud Chearfully do it, & woud come 
to Cha's Town to negotiate the Business, I have wrote 
to a friend of mine (Mr, Gervais) ^ this Conveyance who 
I know is very conversant in matters of Business desiring 
his opinion on the matter & to inquire how far its practi- 
cable & have taken the Liberty to mention to him that if 
any thing lay with you as to the Strengthening of my 
Drafts, that I was sure you woud very chearfully do it. 
Col'l Elbert has directed all the Abstracts for the several 
Regiments to be made up to a certain Period, by w'ch we 
shall come to a Knowledge what sum is due the Troops 
for Pay, & be thereby able to judge what sum will answer 
the purpose provided we can obtain it. I am vv^'th great 


Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay, 

Savannah 25th August 1778. 
The Hon'ble John Houstoun, Esq'r. 

I have called at your House two or three times in 
Order to have received your Answer relative to drawing 
on the Treasury in my favour for Money to support the 
Continental Troops in this State, but unfortunately you 


happen'd to be out of Town Many of the Troops from 
their having been so long out on Command have consider- 
able Arrears of Pay due them, for which & several other 
Services, I am Daily called on for Money, which lays me 
under the necessity of troubling you again & to request 
your Honour will be pleased to give me an Order on the 
Treasurers for the sum Voted by the Assembly for the 
purpose of Paying & Supporting the Continental Troops 
in this State, or any other sum you may think proper and 
for w'ch I will give them Receipts from time to time as I 
shall receive the same, and am with great respect, 

J. Clay. 

Savannah Sept'r 1 1778. 


during the time the Men off War lay at cockspurr a 
Negro Fellow belon'g to me Named Chance, by trade a 
Cooper, Run away & went on board one of them, if I am 
not wrong inform'd the Vessel Commanded by Capt. 
Stanhope, who afterwards landed him in Augustine where 
he now is in the hands of Mr. Penman I have been told sev- 
eral of the Negro's that were carried away by the Men of 
War at the same time have been sent back to their Owners 
w'ch has induced me to ask the favour of you to Endeavour 
tc get this Fellow sent to me ^ the Return of the Flag Truce 
if he is deliverd to the Rev'd Mr. Holmes, who has been 
kind enough to undertake to be the Bearer of this, or to 
Mr. Kent or Capt. Pray they will take care of him for me 
there are two other Negro's who were carried away at 
the same time if they coud be sent back I shoud be very 
glad I do not know who has them in possession the one 
is Named Sterling he is the property of an Orphan in 

* To Mr. Brown. 


Scotland & was left to him by one Hugh Burn for whose 
Estate I am an Executor, the other is Named Adam & 
belongs to the Estate of the Rev'd Mr. Zouberbuhler 
Deceased, for Est'e I am also an Executor My best respects 
to Mrs. Brown and believe me to be with regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah Sept. 1, 1778. 
Will'm Devaux* Esq'r. 
D'r Sir: 

I am informd there has been a Negro in Beaufort Jaol 
or work house of a Considerable time past Named Carolina 
who belongs to the Est'e of Mr. Hugh Burn Deceased for 
whom I am an Executor I will be extremely oblige to 
you if so to take himout & send him ^ any Safe Convey- 
ance & whatever the Fees may Amount to I will remit 
you immediately either in Car'a or Continental Money I 
woud be obligd to you if you woud inform me what you 
think he woud fetch if he sold in your State at Public Sale 
for Cash, as I have some notion of disposing of him I am 
w'th regard, 

D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 
Joseph Clay. 

* Deveaux. 


Savannah Sept 2d 1778. 
Messrs. Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen : 

^ favour of Commodore Bowen * I take the oppor- 
tunity of dropping- you a line hoping as the Tyrants Troops 
have been oblig'd to leave your City that you are both 
return'd to your Habitations there to remain undisturbed 
any more by the Horrors of War as I think their Business 
seems to be almost over on this Continent whatever it may 
be at Sea. We are far from being in a State of Security 
being continually harrassed by a Banditti Supported & 
paid from the Provinces of East Florida who are con- 
tinually mak'g depredations on us by steeling our Horses 
& Negro's &c, however I hope we may by some means or 
other be able to get them rooted out the ensuing Winter 
nothing but our Situation in that respect prevented my 
seeing you this Summer. 

I am in hopes we may soon be able to resume our 
Business I shoud be glad to learn whether our Sloops 
Escaped the Enemy — ^Every thing is extremely dear with 
us Rum 60/ ^ Gall., Muscovado Sugar £30 : £40, & Osnab'es 
15 a 20/ ^ Yd. & Woolen Cloth of the coarsest kind 50/ a 
80/ ^ Yd, & so on I think if it shoud be convenient you 
might send a Vessel here & the sooner the better as I am 
sure there will be Adventurers soon from among us who 
will be pushing for the No'th'd Business with all their 
might. Rains I presume you heard was taken on his pass- 
age Outwards for Bermuda all his Acc'ts are not closed 
as soon as they are will furnish you with them, we shall 
clear something by him. If I had a Vessel in my power 
I woud send her to you immediately tho from the Extrava- 
gant price of every thing, & provisions (& of course Rice) 
being prohibited I shou'd be at a loss what to Ship Sole 
leather 5/ ^ lb, Indico near 20/ Beaver & Furrs not be 
had we hav'g little or no Indian Trade for want of goods 

* Commodore Oliver Bowen. 


Deer Skins 5/ ^ ft) & so on every thing in proportion Barr 
Iron is in very great Demand Our Blacksmiths now 
charge 5/ ^ ft) for their work the first Cargo that comes 
in if not too large & too dear will do well I am of opinion 
these very high prices will not keep up many things pre- 
sent themselves to make me think so the prospect of the 
War not last'g long, & the French joining us & protecting 
our Trade will operate powerfully for us. I shall be 
extremely anxious to hear from you to learn how you have 
been Situa'd for sometime past I sincerely felt for you 
as I am apprehensive the Enemy being so long in your 
Country must have occasioned great Distressed. 
I am w'th great regard, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah Georgia Sept'r 9 1778. 
His Excellency Henry Laurens, Esq'r, President of the 

Honb'le the Continental Congress. 

Agre'able to the Resolves of Congress I have made up 
my Acct's as Deputy Master Gen'l in this State to the end 
of every Month but no safe Conveyance offering they have 
remain'd in my Hands this three Months past. I now 
inclose them as under from the 1st of May to the 30th 
June Ball'e due me at that Period £4371..9..1>^ being so 
much advanced by me for the Use of the Army more than 
I had rec'd from the 1st of July to the 31st Ball'e then 
remaining in my hands belonging to the United States 
£54:67. .18..iy2, & from the 1st to the 31st Ulto Ball'e then 
due me 3247. .19. .8 being so much pd by me for the Use of 
the Army more than I had rec'd — the reason of there being 
no Acc't for May I had no Money during that Period. 
You have also inclosed for information a Copy of Acc't 


Curr't between me & the Commissioners of the loan office 
(Messrs. Obryen & Wade) from which you'll find there 
is a Ball'e due me on your Draft dated the 18th Mar. last 
41883 Dollars w'ch they say they cannot pay hav'g already 
paid me the full Amount of the Certificates lodged in their 

I shou'd be glad to know by what means I can have 
my Acc't Ex'd and passed as it is a very great risque to me 
their remain'g unsettled. I have only a single Voucher 
for every sum I pay, w'ch by many Accidents may be lost 
or destroyed add to w'ch I am but little acquainted with 
the duty of my Office nor have I the means of information 
for want of w'ch I may be daily committing Errors & pay- 
ing away Money improperly, w'ch if my Acc'ts coud be fre- 
quently Audited mig*ht be prevented. By the Resolves 
of Congress I observe no Money can be drawn for out of 
the Military Chest but by the Commander in Chief in the 
Department. I am at a loss to determine what is intended 
by a Department, if a Department includes several States 
I presume Gen'l Howe is the Commander in Chief in this 
department, & if so, he only can draw at present he is in 
So. Caro'a & Col'l Elbert as Senior Col'l & Commanding 
Officer of the Continental Troops within this State is daily 
drawing on me for Money for Army Uses, which when in 
Cash I have always pd. indeed, the Army coud not have 
subsisted without Money therefore necessity compell'd 
me in some degree to do it whether regular or irregular or 
the Troops must have wanted Provisions and every other 

Capt. Hancock of the 2d Geo'a Battalion is the Bearer 
of this who I understand goes to Congress at the request 
of the Officers and Soldiers in this State and with leave 
of the Commanding Officer to Solicit their being pd in 
Cont'l Curr'y, indeed their Situation in this State is truly 
distressing, their pay though very adequate under almost 
any Circumstances except ours to support them properly 
in their several Stations is now from the very high price 


of every thing among us far very far short from Answering 
the purpose of affording them even Common necessaries, 
& I am told some of the Subalterns have already quitted 
the service for no other reason than the not being able 
to support themselves in it, they complain very much of 
not rec'g their pay in the Curr'y of the United States this 
they think wou'd greatly alleviate if not remove all their 
Complaints. We have at present little or no Foreign Trade 
to give a proper Credit & Circulation to the Curr'y of this 
State, the Emissions of w'ch have been very large, of course 
the greatest part of our Trade is inland (chiefly with So. 
Carolina) w'ch occasions the Continental Curr'y to be 
much sought after, & Goods can be purchased with it at 
much cheaper Rates than with our own Curr'y w'ch 
induces them to believe they woud be enabled to support 
themselves on their pay if they coud be pd with it how 
far this woud be the Case I am not able to judge, but I 
am of Opinion unless their is a public Store Established 
for the Officers & Soldiers where they may be supplied 
with necessary Articles at low prices even the paying of 
them in Continental Curr'y will by no means effectually 
serve them. I woud hope & wish that something might 
soon be devised to raise the Credit of the Curr'y of this 
State w'ch woud be the most effectual way of serving them 
& us tho as I before observed unless the Troops can be 
supplied with necessaries at cheap Rates they will hardly 
be able to subsist in this State during the War on any pay 
that can be afforded them. 

I woud beg leave to mention my own Situation in 
regard to Money which at present is & has been heretofore 
very distressing Since the Commissioners of the loan 
OfiEice paid me the Moneys they had in their hands I have 
been supplied at different times by the State — the State 
wish if possible to avoid emitting any more Money & in 
preference to w'ch Borrow what they want at a very high 
Interest (8 ^ Ct. ^ Annum) & very often they cannot 
procure the sums wanted, w'ch is the Case just now, the 


sums wanted from the excessive price of every thing being 
very considerable. I have received from the State, includ- 
ing the sums Credited me in my Acc'ts upwards of 120,000 
Dollars over & above the sum pd me by the Commissioners 
of the loan Office, notwithstanding w'ch their are now 
Orders out unpaid of 100,000 Dollars & for w'ch I am Daily 
& hourly call'd on for payment, & have not a Shilling in 
hand to discharge them — with I believe I coud procure 
Money on Interest or for Bills Exchange for the latter I 
am sure I coud, — but never having rec'd any Instructions 
on that head nothing but extreme necessity woud induce 
me to do the one or the other — I wou'd hope that some 
method will be fell on to put me in a very different situa- 
tion for unless I can by some means or other be supply'd 
w'th Cash to pay of the Demands of the Army as they 
come in, it will lay me under so many difficulties that it 
will be impossible for me to do the Duty expected of me — 
add to w'ch it will bring great Distress on the Troops in 
general by mak'g the Inhabitants very backward in the 
supplying them with such things as they stand in need of. 
I am w'th great respect. 

Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah Sept'r 9th 1778. 
His Excellency Henry Laurens Esq'r 

By this Conveyance I have sent you all my Acct's to 
the 31st Ulto. I know not whether I have been right in 
so doing, but never hav'g received a line from any Board 
or Office giving me any Directions how to conduct myself 
I am totally at a loss to whom I should apply or with 
whom I shou'd correspond on the Business of my Office. 
I have repeatedly seen matters that appeared to me 
improper but for want of knowing how far I was author- 


ized to interfere have not been able to notice them — unless 
I can be properly supplied with Money & Instructed how 
to conduct myself it will be impossible for me to Execute 
the office. 

We are again very much infested with Tonyns Ban- 
ditti Stealing our Horses & Negros & doing us all the 
Mischief they can as Thieves two or three of them have 
been killed this last Week by our Scouts your Overseer 
who carry'd your Negro's to Florida is in Jaol here & will 
be hanged if sufficient Evidence can be procured — all these 
Thieves claim the Priviledge of being prisoners of War 
as Soldiers in the service of the King of Great Britain & 
some of them have Commissions — however our Inhabi- 
tants seem determined that very few of them shall have 
in their power to claim the Priviledge by Killing them if 
Possible wherever they meet them. They are mostly in 
small Companies of 5 or 6 Each. We have been lately 
much alarmed by the Creek Indians who murdered a Num- 
ber of People in the Ceded land's but all seems to be quiet 
again this Country can never enjoy any tranquillity nor 
its inhabitants have any Security for their Property till the 
Florida's are Reduced Tonyn with his Thieves & Stuart 
& his adherents with the Indians will always be annoying 
us. I have only to add that I am with great regard & 

D'r Sir: 

Your most Obed't Serv't, 

J. Clay. 


Savannah 16tli Sept'r 1778. 
Major Gen'l Howe 

^ Cap't Pourcin & Mr. Murray I rec'd 3^our favours 
of the 21st & 27th Ulto & the following sums Viz : 

^ Mr. Murray 1485 Georgia Dollars Say 371.. 5..0 

^ Capt. Pourcin 2000 do do do 500.. 0..0 

under cover of yours the 27th Ulto 

31 3-10 ditto Sav.... 7..16..6 

*871.. 1..6 

mak'g together in the whole Eight hundred & seventy nine 
pounds one Shill'g & sixpence Current I\ioney of the State 
of Georgia & for w'ch sum you have now inclosed a Receipt 
as for so much rec'd of you for the Use of the Continental 
Troops in this State. I have not yet apply'd to the Copes 
again relative to their discounting your Money having 
none to pay them they have Orders on me from Col'l 
Elbert for a considerable sum but I have not a farthing 
to pay them with. I have received from the Commissioners 
of the United States loan office all the Moneys they had 
in their hands whole Amount Forty thousand one hundred 
& Thirty Five pounds this Currency Since w'ch I have 
rec'd between 20 & £30,000 out of the State Treasury but 
I obtain it so slow & in such small Sums that it answers 
very little purpose & give me infinite trouble in obtaining 
it If Congress do not afford us some relief very shortly 
I know not what will be the Consequence the Moneys I 
have rec'd of you I am forced to apply in payment of 
abstracts for pay due the 2d Battalion & Artillery I am 
in hopes to receive some out of the Treasury in two or 
three days when I shall again apply to the Copes — Com- 
modore Bowen has not apply'd to me for any money to 
pay the Gallies if he should I will Endeavour him. 

I mentioned to you my doubts in a former Letter as 


to the propriety of Col'l Elbert drawing- on me for Moneys 
without your Orders to me for that purpose the Necessity 
of his having- that power is very apparent but the Express 
words of the Continental Resolves are against it for w'ch 
reason I think I ought to have your Order as a Voucher 
for my so doing. I am with great respect, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Sept'r 25, 1778. 
John Lewis Gervais Esq'r 
D'r Sir: 

I wrote you some time ago that I had received some 
Money of Col'l Elbert in part payment for the Wench sold 
him belonging to Col'l Laurens & that I expected shortly 
to receive the Ballance in a Bill on your Tov^^n c[!^ Capt. 
Bunner who is the Bearer of this. I have sent you the 
sum I received of him as under, Viz : 

in Continental Currency 412 Dollars. .32/6 Each. 669..10..0 
in Carolina do 188 do do 305..10..0 

in do do do 154.. 0..0 

1129.. 0..0 

making in the whole Eleven hundred & twenty nine Pounds 
your Currency which you'll please receive on Account of 
Col'l Laurens the Ballance I have not yet received so 
soon as I do will remit it to you. 

I wrote you some time ago relative to the practibility 
of obtaining money in your State for the Troops on Bills — 
I presume from Circumstances it is not practicable however 
if its otherwise I should rather decline the matter as the 
Troops appear more reconciled than they were & willing 
to bear their present Distresses till Congress can do some- 


thing to relieve them. We have nothing New among us 
the Floridians & Indians by their Robberies & Murders 
keep us in a continual State of Alarm — a fine Ship from 
Florida bound to Jamaica with Lumber & Naval Stores 
was brought in here by the Crew. I am with regard, 
D'r Sir: 

Your most Obed't Serv't,.. 

Joseph Clay. 

September 7th 1778. 
D'r Sir 

No Conveyance for Philadelphia offering since writing 
the foregoing that I could Embrace, has detained it in my 
hands. We have been greatly alarmed with the dread of an 
Indian War a Number of People have been killed on the 
Ceded Lands, in the whole about 20, & People were flying 
from their Settlements fearing the defection was becoming 
general among the Indians. No Mischief has been done 
for this two or 3 Weeks past & from the best accounts we 
can get what was done was only by a party from the Upper 
Towns, headed as is supposed by some White Persons, & 
the People are returning to their Habitations again but 
We can expect no Security or Safety, for our Inhabitants 
till the Florida's are reduced or a Peace takes place; the 
Murders being so generally committed on the Ceded Land 
induces me to believe that the Treaty relative to the 
Indian Debts not being comply'd with has been in a great 
measure the occasion of them. 

We are again infested by the Floridian Banditta taking 
our Horses & Negro's away we have had a Negro or 2 
taken ofif within two or three miles of the Town & Horses 
from all parts of the State, the situation of our State is 
really extreme by distresing exposed to our Enemies. In 
case Loan Office Certificates are allowed by Congress & 


they shou'd not go off brisk here, we must call all our 
money in declare it no tender in Law after such and such 
dates & make it redeemable by the Certificates hov/ever 
shoud peace take place w'ch it more than probable may 
shortly be the Case we shall go upon intire Now plans. 

D'r Sir 

Your &c 

J. Clay. 

Savannah Aug't 29 th 1778. 
John Lewis Gervais Esq'r 
D'r Sir: 

Your favour of the 1st Inst, came to hand only this 
week, in regard to the rough Rice at Broughton Island I 
have repeatedly endeavoured to get it disposed of to the 
Army, but never cou'd bring them to any fix'd Bargain, 
10,000 Bushels were agreed for by Mr. Rae @ 1/ ^ Bush'l 
a very considerable time ago, & he was to have it measured 
& put by for him, that it might lay at his Risque; I often 
spoke to him about it & he as often promised it shoud be 
done, but that was all, Mr. Taarling has married & been 
likewise very sick since he returned from Carolina, which 
has prevented my applying to him on the subject, from 
what I coud learn from Mr. Baillie tis more than probable 
they took away near 2000 Bushels while the Troops were on 
the So'thern Expedition, no exact account can be obtained, 
because a Considerable part of it was taken away without 
measuring — rough Rice sells here from 4/ to 6/ ^ Bushel, 
I suppose about 5/ is the general Price, What it may be 
worth at the So'therd I am not a Judge, but will inquire 
if General Howe can contrive the Payment in So. Carolina 
I think a considerable abatement might be made rather 
than receive it here, I shou'd think 17/6 your Curr'y for 
what was taken from Broughton Island very moderate 
if paid in Carolina — Col'l Elbert at first appeared dissatis- 


fied in regard to the Price of the Wench, but he has agreed 
to take her at it, & about a fortnight ago paid me about 
illOO your Currency, &: has promised me the ballance in 
a few days, which will send to you ^ first opportunity, 
Inclosed is a bill of Exchange dated Bermuda the 29th 
Oct'r for sixty Eight pounds Bermuda Curr'y on. Mr 
Rich'd Cole of your Town in favour of Capt. John Rains 
payable at Ten days sight which will be obliged to you 
to endeavour to obtain payment for, the Bill is liable to 
a very Material objection its not being endorsed by Capt. 
Rains, nor have I it my power to remedy it, Capt. Rains 
being at this time a Prisoner in the hands of the Enemy, 
having been taken in a Vessel belong'g to Col'l Habersham, 
Mr. Jas. Habersham, Mr. Telfair & myself whose property 
this bill is, it being taken by Capt. Rains for a ballance 
due on a small Vessel he sold in Bermuda belong'g to them, 
& has now been long due, & this is the only Bill out of 
several that has come to hand, if he required any Indemni- 
fication we will freely give it, but for so small a sum I 
shoud presume Mr. Cole will hardly think it necessary, 
Inclosed is also a Letter of Advice belon'g to the Bill, 
I have endorsed the bill as for Capt. Rains payable to you, 
I hope you will excuse the trouble & believe me to be w'th 
great regard, 

D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

Ashley river the 10th Mar 1779. 
Geo'e Abott Hall Esq'r 

I am informed by a Letter I have rec'd from Camp 
that the Military Chest both from this & our State runs 
very low, & as I woud on my part wish to send a supply 
there as quick as possible, & I presume Mr. Gervais will 
be likewise of the same opinion, for which purpose I have 


wrote him ^ this Conveyance requesting the favour of 
him in Case he has not already sent a Supply on his own 
Account, that he woud ^ the same Conveyance he sends 
for him self forward fifteen Quires say One hundred & 
Sixty five thousand Dollars for me w'ch sum shoud he 
apply for I must beg the favour of you to pay him. In 
Case he cannot forward it Mrs. Clay (who comes to Town 
to see her Daughter &c will, if she can conveniently, bring 
that sum or perhaps as far as Twenty Quires up here with 
her, as its more than probable I shall not be in Town 
before I proceed to Camp, you will therefore be kind 
enough to furnish her with what she may choose to bring 
up. Mr. Habersham & myself are busily employed in pro- 
curing provisions & setling our Negros, the former of w'ch 
we find great difficulty in doing, every thing being very 
scarce about here, we are obliged to Cart grain for our 
Horses 12 Mules or give a very extravagant price for it- 
We have heard in a general way of Ashs Defeat, so far as 
we have been informd it appears to me to have been a very 
shamefull Affair, & I hope will be strictly inquired into, 
, we shall be obliged to you for any news, & am with great 
regard, D'Sir, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

Savannah December 15th 1778. 
John Gibson Esq'r Auditor General at Philadelphia 

I rec'd your favour of the 20th July last respecting 
several matters relative to my Office w'ch I shall duly attend 
to, I have ^ this Conveyance inclosed Congress my Accounts 
for the Months of September, October & November which 
hope may be approved of; in these Accounts it will appear 
that a very large part of the sums charged in them were 
paid by the Order of Col'l Elbert, this I did under a 


General Order of Gen'l Howes, directing me to pay to Col'l 
Elbert or to his order any sum or sums he might 
draw on me either for the pay of the Troops or the Military 
Department, the Business of the Army could not have 
been carried on if this mode had not been adopted, as no 
one woud have supplied them with any thing if they had 
been under the necessity of travelling from Savannah to 
Charles Town in Order to obtain from General Howe (who 
most commonly resides there) a Draft on me for the Pay- 
ment of their Money. 

I have endeavoured in the making out my Accounts 
to be as explicit as in my Power, specifying the purposes 
every sum was paid for, where any sum is charg'd to an 
Officer in the service that is not expressed to be for any 
particular purpose, it is for the Use of his Department & 
for the Expenditure of w'ch they are to be accountable, as 
I thought it needless to express in every charge made 
against any Quarter Master, Commissary or Pay Master 
&c, that it was for the use of their Department, as by 
charging it to them as such it naturally follows it was for 
their Use in that station & for w'ch they must be Account- 
able — since the 31st of July last all the Extra Rations 
allowed the Officers has ceased, & they have drawn for their 
Subsistance Money in lieu thereof agreeable to the late 
Establishment. You'll observe a sum of 10,000 Dollars 
charged as paid to Stephen Drayton, Esq'r, Deputy Quar- 
ter Master General in State of So, Carolina for his use 
in that Department, how far it may be proper that the 
Moneys appropriated to the use of one State, shoud be 
apply'd to that of another I am not a Judge but I presume 
I have no right to refuse the Commander in Chiefs Warrant 
let them be drawn for what ever purpose they may. You'll 
also notice that several Orders have been paid partially 
part at one time, & part at another; this has never hap- 
pened but when I have not had a sufficient sum in my 
hands to discharge the whole of the several Drafts drawn 
on me, & have from that cause been reduced to the neces- 


sity of making partial payments Mr. Taarling has 
resigned his appointment as D. Q. M. General & Mr. Rich'd 
Wylly (a very Worthy Gentlemen of Intergrity & Ability) 
is now Acting in that Department, I mention this to 
explain what is meant by sums charg'd as paid to Mr. Taar- 
ling to enable him to settle his Accounts — the sum of 
100,000 Dollars Credited the State of Georgia was a loan 
from this State, granted on a special Application of the 
Officers by Petition to the Assembly, setting Forth as a 
very great grievance the Troops being paid in the Cur- 
rency of this State from the very great depreciation of 
it, & I was obligd to give a Receipt for the same as D. P. 
M. G., Promising to return the like sum again whenever 
the Military Chest arrived here, which I shall do as soon 
as I am called on for that purpose, this loan was granted 
for the special purpose of paying the Troops & no other 
nor has it been appy'd to any other, & is the first Money 
any of the Continental Troops in this state ever received 
after they came into it in any currency but the Currency 
of the state ; I coud wish that I was furnished with proper 
Instructions to direct me in every part of my Duty fully, 
the Resolves of Congress that have been passed from time 
to time at least such of them as have come to my hands, 
are so detached, & in a few Instances more than partial, 
& only respecting particular parts of the service, that they 
rather serve to Embarrass than direct, this is what every 
Officer Acting in any department in this state Daily Com- 
plain for the want of. By the Resolves Abstracts are to 
be made up ever}^ Month by the Regimental Pay Master 
& to be regularly Certifyd & then lodged with me until 
Orders are given for Payment, from this I presume I have 
noth'g to do with the particular pay Rolls, tho from what 
is required in some other Resolves it woud appear as if 
they were to be Examined & Checkd by me. One of the 
Regimental Pay masters appointed by the state & who 
has lately resigned, & no other, apply'd to me to receive 
his Vouchers & give him a DiscHarge for the Moneys he 


had received from me, which I refused, as in the first place 
it did not appear to me that I was properly Authorized so 
to do, & in the next the Vouchers were not all of them 
such as according to my Judgement were proper ones, I 
observed in some of the Pay Rolls the Pay of Deserters 
were charg'd up to the Day they Deserted & paid to the 
Commanding Officer of the Comp'y the belong'd to, & the 
pay of the Men that died in the service also charg'd up to 
the time they died & paid to the Major of the Regiment 
& I have also noticed on some Occassions where I have 
had an Opportunity of seeing the Pay Rolls that many of 
them were very deficient in point of Form, some of them 
most egregiously so, & made out in such a manner as must 
give great Opportunity to ill disposed persons to take an 
Advantage of the Public, nor have we any Established 
Form for the Abstracts, which I presume as well as for 
the Pay Rolls there ought to be, for my part I am quite 
a Stranger to the Dutys of my Office further than my 
reason & such of the Continental Resolves as have come 
to my hands have inform'd me, tis quite a New Business 
to me & which I entered on it with a view to be usefull 
only, & it gives me pain to see any thing I am concerned 
in be carried on in an improper manner. I rec'd some 
Months ago from the Deputy Muster Master Mr, William 
Matthews a Number of Muster Rolls of the Continental 
Troops in this state, some of them as late down as last 
March, but none later, nor have I rec'd any since. By one 
of the Resolves of Congress I observe I am directed to 
consult the Commander in Chief in this department on 
appointing Deputies at such Posts as he may think neces- 
sary, to supply with Money such officers as may be sta- 
tioned there as he (the Commander in Chief) shall direct, 
but I am no where inform'd what pay these Deputies are 
allowed, I have not had occasion as yet to appoint any 
but I presume there will soon be a necessity for me to 
appoint some, when that happens it will put me to great 
difficulty, the Reg't P. Masters were formerly allowed 


Captains Pay, But I am afraid that allowance will induce 
but very few in this Country under its present Circum- 
stances in whose integrity & ability I coud confide to 
accept of such an appointment, & give me security for 
their good behaviour & faithfull discharge of the Trust 
reposed in them, which if I am to be accountable for their 
Conduct they must do, & that I can hardly expect any one 
to do where his Pay for a Year will not enable him to live 
decently three Months in that Year, for such is our unhappy 
situation at present — If I am not accountable for their 
Conduct the Case will be different, as to me I will endeav- 
our to do the best I can, for my part I woud recommend 
if its not in compatible with the service that any Officer 
in the line be appointed to this Business, with additionate 
pay, in the same manner as Regimental Pay Masters — this 
mode I shoud suppose might Answer as a temporary 
Expedient to serve untill the Value of our Money renders 
it more adequate to the service expected — which I woud 
flatter myself is not far distant. By some Resolves passed 
the 13th October last I observe I am directed to furnish 
the Deputy Quarter Master, the Deputy Comissary & the 
Deputy Clothier Generals, with Money for the Use of 
their respective Departments, And they are also directed 
to deliver their respective Accounts of Expenditures to the 
D. P. M. General, & that their Receipts shall specify the 
same to have been paid in Continental Currency, this to me 
is quite a New matter I mean so far as relates to their 
Account, I never understood that I was to have any thing 
to do with any Accounts but my own, nor have I as yet 
ever received an Acc't from any Officer or Department in 
the state, if I am to have any thing to do with them I must 
be particularly Instructed how far, & in what manner I 
am to govern myself relative to them, I woud observe that 
that not one of the Regimental Pay Masters have, that I 
know of, ever setled their Accounts since I have had any 
thing to do with the Army, nor has any ever offered me 
any Vouchers (the Instance mentioned in the foregoing 


only excepted) for the Expenditures of the sums rec'd by 
them, nor do I believe that any Pay Masters appointed 
by the state ever made a proper settlement of their 
Accounts, I woud be glad to know in what manner I am 
to have my own Accounts setled & who is give me proper 
Discharges for them, if they find them right, I have already 
paid away a very large sum of Money for every farthing 
of w'ch I am accountable, & for the payments of w'ch I 
have nothing to Shew but a Number of Warrants & Orders 
w'ch may be lost or destroyed by Various Accidents, w'ch 
is a situation I by no means choose to be in, if some mode 
is not Pointed out by w'ch I can obtain a settlement at 
short periods, there is no motive or any thing that can 
induce me to continue to Act under my Appointment. I 
can by no means think of running tlie risque of leaving my 
Family with long & large Public Accounts unsetled. I had 
forgot to mention that the last £40,000 rec'd by me from 
the state of Georgia was paid me by Meisseurs OBryen & 
Wade, Treasures of this state, as Commissioners of the 
United States loan Office, to w'ch office they were appointed 
by the Assembly of this state, & by whose direction they 
paid the same to me, how far this may be regular I know 
not, but as I received that sum of them as such Its proper 
that I shoud notice it that they may be Credited therewith 
accordingly You'll also notice the Credit of 49,883 Dollars 
rec'd of the same Gentlemen, being for a Ball'e due me 
on the President of Congress Warrant on the Commis- 
sioners of the loan Office in my favour Dated York Town 
the 18th March last. 

I observed in the foregoing that the pay of the Deserters 
have been drawn for up to the time they Deserted by the 
Captain of the Companys they respectively belong'd to. 
I woud also notice that I understand the Officers who have 
received the same, alledge as a reason for their so doing 
that they had advanced the sum out of their Pocketts to 


these Men in part of their pay, & that at a time when the 
pay Masters had not Money to Pay them with. I am 

Sir, Your, &c. 

J. C. 

Savannah 15th Dec'r 1778. 
Joseph Nourse Esq'r Pay Master to the board of Warr 

& Ordnance 

I wrote you the 21st Ulto from Charles Town ^ the 
Return of the Escorts to the Money, advising you with 
my having received the same & found it right; Amount 
as ^ Invoice 500.00 Dollars, w'ch sum I have carried to thQ 
Credit of the United States as ^ my Account to the 30th 
Ulto transmitted ^ this Conveyance will more particu- 
larly appear at the request of the Escorts I paid them 
200 Dollars Each making in the whole 1000 Dollars, as^ 
the inclosed Receipt to serve in failure of the one sent you 
by them this sum I have Debited the States. 

I sometime ago rec'd a Letter from Mr. Moses Young 
for you, inclosing a Receipt of Adjutant Taylors of the 
4th Geo'a Battalion for 200 Dollars, directing me to deduct 
the same out of his pay, this Gentle'n has not that I can 
learn ever been in this State. I shoud be glad to know 
whether I shall send you his Receipt back again — during 
my Stay in Chas Town Accounts came there that the 
Enemy from Florida had invaded our State & penetrated 
far into it, which induced me to lodge by far the largest 
part of the sum rec'd from you in their Treasury, not think- 
ing it prudent to carry more with me than was necessary 
for the then present exigincies — this will necessarily 
occasion some further Expence in getting it here, which 
woud not have been the Case had matters been otherways, 


as I should have taken it with me by water inland free of 
any charge, I am with respect, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 
Joseph Clay. 

Sav'h 19th December 1778. 
The Hon'ble Henry Liaurens, Esq'r President of Congress 

I had the honour of Receiving your esteemd favour of 
the 16th October last, inclosing several Acts of Congress 
Dated the 13th of that Month relative to my paying the 
Deputy Commissary, the Deputy Quarter Master and the 
Deputy Clothier General, such sum or sums of Money 
as they severally want in their respective Departments, & 
also directing me to pay the Officers & men belonging to 
the Continental Gallies in this state, & to transmit an 
Account of the same to the Board of Treasury at the end 
of every Month to all of w'ch I shall pay the strictest atten- 
tion. I presume the direction relative to the transmitting 
of my Accounts to the Board of Treasury is intended as 
a general one, which method I shall in future pursue, until 
I am Ordered to the contrary ; for the present I have taken 
the liberty to inclose you them for the Months of Septem-- 
ber, October & November last, Ballance remaining in my 
hands the 30th Ulto as ^ Acco't Curr't Ballance on that 
Day One hundred & Twenty seven thousand eight hundred 
& twenty eight Pounds 3/6j^, w'ch sum is to the Credit 
of the United States in New Account. 

I have wrote to the Treasury Board through Mr. Gibson 
Auditor Gen'l every thing that occur'd to me or that 
appear'd necessary to be explained, relative to them, I am 
with great respect, 

Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 


Savan'h Dec'r 28th 1778. 
Joseph Carleton Esq'r Pay Master to the Board of War 

& Ordnance 

^ Mr. Telfair I rec'd Your much esteemd favour of the 
14 November last, & this day rec'd ^ the hands of Messrs. 
Young Hill & Weatherly 500,000 Dollars for the use of my 
Department, some of the Bills on the outside Quires are 
little defaced by rubbing, but I am hopefull not so much 
so, but that they will pass in payment. 

I have given the Escorts a Receipt for the Money, 
which they will produce to you on their Arrival. I have 
also pd. them by the Order of General Howe who com- 
mands in this State as yet, the following sums viz: Mr. 
George Hill 240 Dollars, Mr. Jos. Weatherly 240 Dollars, 
Mr. Fra's Young 240 Dollars mak'g in the whole the sum 
of 720 Dollars — herewith you'll receive a Letter directed 
to Mr. Nourse which I had wrote him before I had the 
pleasure of being informd you were Acting in that Depart- 
ment, as it relates intirely to Public concerns I have not 
Seal'd it. 

I am with respect 

Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

Savannah Dec'r 23d 1778. 
Messrs Blakes & Sawyers 

My last to you was of the 18th Inst. ^ the return of 
your express. I was then In hopes that I shoud have been 
able to have inform'd you before this that you had obtain'd a 
Decree for the salvage of your Schooner & Cargo, as the 
Trial was to come on as last Tuesday, but for want of a 
Sufficient Number of Jurors appearing at court to make a 


Jury, the trial was postponed till tomorrow, & yesterday 
the Attorneys on behalf of the Captors proposed 
adjourning the Trial till next Friday Seven night, Urging 
for a Reason that one of their Council (Mr. Walton) was 
under the necessity of going to your state on Public Busi- 
ness, & woud not return before that time — on Considering 
of the matter & Consulting w'th Mr. Stephens our Attorney 
General who I employed to appear on your behalf, I have 
agreed to their proposition, as it appeared to me it might 
rather prove to your advantage, by giving you time to 
Collect the Best evidence the nature of the case will admit. 
I find the Captors intend to push hard to obtain a Decree in 
their favour for the whole of the Cargo & Vessel, sinc^ 
3^our Claim was Entered they have employed another 
Lawyer (Mr. Walton) in addition to the one who Libelled 
the Vessel, they mean to claim the whole under a pretence 
that the Vessel was abandoned at sea, & of course became 
a derelict, they also urge that the Vessel was the property 
of the Enemy, that she was absolutely infra prosidea, these 
Circumstances I have only gathered from hints dropt by 
them in Conversation : therefore it is absolutely neces- 
sary to use every precaution to prevent their having any 
advantage of us — if there is such a thing possible as make 
her a Derelict which in a Case like this I think their is not, 
the present prize Master Evidence will be favourable to 
it, being, as I am informd much against Capt. Dillinghams 
Conduct, & indeed from what I can learn relative to it he 
certainly abandoned a large property of yours, for fear he 
shoud loose his own, as its said here that his Boat was 
loaded with goods belonging to himself when he came into 
our Port from his Vessel, so that however unfortunate you 
have been, he in all probability has made a good Voyage 
for himself. I have desired Mr. Stephens to write you on 
the subject which he has accordingly done. The proving 
the property of the Vessel in you is absolutely necessary 
in the first place, & the Indentity is another thing neces- 
sary — had the Trial have came on last Tuesday I believe 


I shoud have fix'd the latter tollerable well by the Evidence 
of one Capt. Smith, who came with Artillery Stores belong'g 
to Col'l Roberts, as he said he knew the Vessel to be the 
same that Capt. Dillenghams sailed in from your state in 
your employ, but he is now on his way to your Town, if you 
have any Clerk or other Person who has done Business 
for you while Captain Dillengham sailed in the Vessel, by 
their coming up here they coud prove both, or if that can't 
be done you had best have the highest Evidence you can 
procure taken before your Chief Justice & sent up so as 
to be here before the day of Trial, the Vessel & Cargo will 
sell for a very considerable sum, I dare say upwards of 
ilO,000 our Money if the Vessel is tolerably well found & 
the Cargo has not been plundered. Capt. Spencer ask'd 
me if I knew any thing of a Hhd or two of loaf Sugar & 
some Brandy being on board the Schooner as he had beer> 
informd there had been such Articles on Board, & if so, 
they were missing, I do not learn any thing of the Register. 
Capt. Spencer says he never saw it, shoud you obtain the 
Salvage which I think will be the Case had you not better 
buy in to near the amount of your proportion in Order 
to bring about a Speedy Settlement of the Concern, or if you 
do not choose that it certainly will be best that you keep 
the sales least any advantage shoud be taken, I will bid 
for you or get some other person to do it if I shoud by any 
Accident be prevented attending the sales myself. I am 
w'th respects & Esteem, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 
J. Clay. 


Euhaws 21st January 1778. 
Major Rice at Purisbourgh 

In consequence of General Lincolns recommendation 
of you to act for me as Deputy Pay Master General of the 
State of Georgia during my absence, I have taken the 
liberty of sending you ^ the hands of Mr. Ricli'd Wylly Ten 
Quires of Continental Money, containing Eleven thousand 
Dollars each, making together in the whole One hundred & 
Ten thousand Dollars or £27,500 Georgia Currency for 
which Sum I will be obliged to you to send two Rec'ts of 
the same tenor & Date to serve as one. 

In Order to give you every necessary information in 
my power I have extracted from my Books an Account of 
the last payment made to any of the Regimental Pay 
Masters or others w'ch is as follows Viz : 
1st Battalion — Paid Jno. Wood Pay Master the 12th Nov'r 
last i395..2..2 or 1580 26-60 Dollars being 
for Pay & Subsistance Money due s'd Regi- 
ment to the 30th Oct'r last ^ Abstract. 
2d Battallion— Paid Cap't Littleberry Moseby P Master the 
27th Oct'r last £ 1816..3..7>^ being for pay 
& subsistance Money due said Batt'n to the 
30th Sept'r last ^ Abstract pd Ditto the 
5th Ulto in part of pay due said Battalion 
he to be accountable ^ Order of General 
Howe ilOOO say 4000 Dollars. 
3d Battallion — Paid Capt. Isaac. Hicks Pay Master 3d 
November last i534..7..8 Say 2137 32-60 
Dollars being for pay & Subsistance Money 
due said Battallion to the 31st Oct'r last 
^ Abstract. 
4th Battallion— Paid Capt. Geo'e Melven Pay Master the 
31st October last i629..11..8 being for pay & 
Subsistance Money due said Battalion to the 
30th Sept'r last ^ Abstracts. 
N. B.— The 1st Abstract for the 4th Bat- 


tallion made up since I acted as D. P. M. G. 

was from the 15th April last to the 31st July 
following & amounted to i2421..8..7 a part 
of w'ch only say £659. .5. .5 has been paid to 
Capt. Melven the remaining sum of 
£1762..3..4 Say 7048 2-3 Dollars was detained 
in my hands by order of Col'l Elbert the 
sum having been paid to a Major Woodruff 
(a Militia Officer) who acted as Pay Master 
to that Battallion prior to Capt, Melven 
whose Rec'ts for that sum were lodged in 
my hands by Col'l Elbert, & are now in my 
Possession, Dated the 6th & 7th April last 
& for which he the s'd Woodruff I believe 
has never produced any Vouchers. 
Paid Capt. Templeton of the 4th Battalion 
^ Order of General Howe 3 Months pay 
Say from the 15th Jan'y, 1778 to the 15th 
April, 1778 i30, Major Woodruff Pay 
Master at that time first certifying the same 
was due. 

Light Dragoons — Paid Lieut Sam'l West Pay Master thej 
17th August last £3246. .2., being for pay due 
s'd Regiment to the 31st July last ^ 

Paid Capt. Scott ^ Order of Gen'l Howe 
4th Dec'r last 948 Dollars being for pay due 
him from the 4th May 1777 to the 1st Nov'r, 
1778, & for Subsistance Money from the 1st 
Aug't last to the same time. 

Artillery — Paid Capt. Geo'e Young Pay Masters the 3d 
Novr, 1778 being for pay & Subsistance 
Money due the 3 Companies to the 31st 
Oct'r last ^ Absract £368..15s say 1475 Dol- 

Paid Capt. Dufau ^ Col'l Elberts Order his 
pay as Capt. of Artillery from the 3d April 


1778 to the 3d July following 130 Dollars. 
Paid Philip Box, Esq'r Commissary of Hos- 
pitals his pay & Subsistance Money to the 
31st Ulto ^ Order of Gen'l Howe. 
Ditto Capt. Sens, Engineer the 21st of 
December ^ Order of Gen'l Howe 3 Months 
Pay ending the 31st Inst. 
Ditto Samuel Stirk Judge Advocate his pay 
to the 21st Ulto ^ Order of General Howe, 
Ditto James Rae, Esq'r Deputy Commis- 
sary General of Purchases his pay from the 
1st August last to the 31st Oct'r following 
£115 say 460 Dollars ^ Order of Col'l Elbert 
Ditto Commodore Bowen ^ Order of Gen'l 
Howe his pay to the 30th Nov'r last. 
N. B. — The Gallies have never rec'd any Pay 
through my hands having been hitherto 
paid by the State of Georgia except the fore- 
going paid Commodore Bowen. 
Paid Col'l Elbert the 12th Nov'r, 1778, in 
part of pay due him 225 Dollars Capt. Dufau 
& Templetons Pay since the time specify'd 
in the foregoing to have been paid to them 
has been included in their respective Regi- 
mental Abstracts. 

Col'l Elbert has rec'd no other pay since I 

have been Office that I know off except the 

sum of 225 Dollars above mentioned. 

'The foregoing contains every information that I am 

able to furnish you with the paying of the Troops has in 

my opinion been conducted hitherto in a very irregular 

manner but I make no doubt it will be very soon put upon 

a very different footing & am with respect, 

Sir, Your most Obed't Serv't, 

J. Clay. 


Euhaws 22d January 1779 
Eichard Wylly, Esq'r. 

D'r Sir: 

Before I left Purisbourg-h Gen'l Lincoln proposed that 
Major Rice shoud act for me as D. P. M. G. during my 
absence & desired me to put into the Majors hands 100,000 
Dollars for that purpose. I have sent ^ my Son Joe 10 
Quires containing 110,000 Dollars w'ch woud esteem a 
favour if you woud pay the same to Major Rice & take his 
Receipt as from me for the same — I have wrote him on the 
subject & request he woud send me two Receipts of the 
same tenor & date to serve as one. 

I shoud have sent the money 2 Days ago but the roads 
being so excessive bad deterred in hopes 2 or 3 Dry Days 
wou'd have made them better. I hope you'll excuse this 
trouble & am w'th regard, 
D'r Sir, 

Your most Obed't Serv't. 
J. Clay. 

Ashley River 10th March 1779. 
John Lewis Gervaies Esq'r 

By a Letter I rec'd from Mr. Rice two days ago I find 
that the Military Chest at Camp runs very low, that he had 
paid away the whole of the sum he had received from me 
& near the Amo't of what he had rec'd from you of which 
I presume you are inform'd. I woud esteem it a favour 
if you have not already sent Mr. Rice a suppy from your 
Chest, that you woud ^ the same opportunity you may 
embrace for that purpose, send him for me fifteen Quire 
say One hundred & Sixty five thousand Dollars, for w'ch 
he may transmit Duplicate Rec'ts to me or to you in my 
Name as Opportunitys may oflfer. I expect to be ready to 
proceed for Camp in a few days but least I may be delayed 


longer than I expect I woud be glad to send the Money- 
there as soon as possible, ^ Mrs. Clay (who comes to 
Town to see her Daughter & purchase a few Articles) I 
have wrote Mr. Hall relative to furnishing you with the 
Money provided you can forward it, and if not I have 
desired Mrs. Clay to bring it with her, as its more than 
probable I shall not be in Town before I proceed to Camp — 
I will be much oblig'd to you for the Resolves of Congress 
if you have done with them, & for any intelligence of con- 
sequ'e. We have heard in a general way of Ashs defeat 
if it happened in the way its reported here it is a very 
shamefull afit'air, & I hope will be Strictly inquired into, a 
few Brave Men appear to have been sacrificed to the igno- 
rance or neglect (perhaps both) of some persons or other, 
the consequences of w'ch may prove fatal to a whole 
Country, I am with great regard, 
D'r Sir, Yours &c., 

Jos. Clay. 

Ashley River the 15th Mar 1779. 
Nathaniel Rice, Esq'r at Purisbourgh 
D' Sir 

I rec'd your several favours of the 28th Jan'y & 2d 
Ins't the former covering Duplicate Receipts of the same 
tenor & Date for 110,000 Dollars w'ch sum I have Debited 
you, & for w'ch you will be Credited at settlement by the 
Receipts for Expenditures — I am not surprised you have 
met with Difficulties in paying the Geo'a Regiments, I 
suggested to you formerly the irregularity with which 
the pay of that Brigade had heretofore been conducted, & 
the impediments that woud probably come in your way, 
w'ch induced me to be so particular in giving you a list 
of the last payments made, & to furnish the General with 
the Abstracts in Order thereby to afford every Assistance 
in the Business in my power — since I left Camp my time 


has been principally taken up in travelling in search of a 
Place to fix my Family & Negros, I am now employed in 
setling them in this place & I hope in 8 or 10 Days to be 
able to proceed from this to Camp & to bring you a Suffi- 
cient supply of Money to Answer every Demand. I wrote 
to Mr, Gervais requesting the favour of him to receive a 
Sum for me in Cha's Town & to forward it to you at the 
same time that he sent you a supply in Answer to w'ch 
he writes me that Yours informing him of your being in 
want of Money had not yet come to hand, therefore he 
coud not send a farther sum at present, otherways he woud 
very chearfully have Comply'd w'th my request — I will 
endeavour to bring or send you a supply as quick as possi- 
ble in the interim any advances you may make from the 
Carolina Chest, you may be assured I will enable you to 
repay w'th punctuality, my best respects to the General 
& am w'th respect. 


Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

P. S. — inclosed is Copies of the several Resolves of 
Congress that have come to my hands relative to the pay of 
the Army, & which you woud have had before this, but 
I had lent the Originals to Mr. Gervais at the time you 
wrote me for them. 

Euhaw 22d January 1779. 
Major General Lincoln 

I have sent by the bearer Ten Quires of Cont'l Money 
containing eleven thousand Dollars each which I have 
desired to be delivered to Major Rice taking his Receipt 
for the same these Amounts to 110,000 Dollars w'ch is 
10 thousand more than you mentioned, but this I appre- 


hend can make no difference I have wrote Major Rice & 
inform'd him particularly so far as in my power the state 
of the Troops as to their pay. I have inclosed you for 
j'-our perusal & information the last Abstracts for pay due 
each of the Regiments & Companies of Continental Troops 
that were stationed in the State of Georgia, Viz : 
Abstracts for Pay due 1st Battalion to the 31st Oct'r last 

395.. 2..2 

ditto for do due 2d ditto to 30th Sept'r 846..14..7>4 

ditto for do due 3d ditto 31st October ...534,. 7..8 

ditto for do due 4th do 30 Sep'r 629..11..8 

ditto for do due ditto 31 July 2421.. 8..9 

do for do due Artillery to 31st Oct'r 368..15.. 

do for do due Light Horse 31st July 3346.. 2.. 

The foregoing are the last Abstracts that have been 
presented by any of the Regimental Pay Masters. I was 
much at a loss to know in what form to take the Receipts 
for sums paid on Abstracts You'll observe I took a special 
one by way of obligation for the Sum paid on the Abstract 
for the Regiment of Horse, this I did for special Reasons — 
Of which will inform you when I return If you shou'd 
have done w'th the Abstract before the return of my 
Son (who is bearer of this) I woud be obliged to you 
to return them by him, but if not they may rem'n w'th you 
till I return to Camp 

I am With great Respect 

Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay.. 

Ashley River So Carolina, 
Messrs. Bright & Pechin 
Gentlemen: March 23d 1779. 

I wrote you sometime ago informing you with the 
Situation of our State, & of the progress of Enemy in it. 


They are still in possession of all the Sea Coast more than 
half of the best part of the state, & for any Force we have at 
present they may remain there as long as they please and 
shoud they get reinforced before any Troops arrive to our 
Assistance from your part of the world, I make no doubt 
they will attempt to penetrate into this, & its more than 
probable, succeed in it ; & shoud that unfortunately happen, 
its consequences to the United States must be very alarming. 
If we had rec'd the least support in Georgia, the Enem}% 
woud never have got the footing in it they have nor woud 
they have kept possession of it till this time, the people 
of this State do not seem to possess that Spirit of Enter- 
prise & Patriotism I expected, & of which they boasted, 
had they been Active the Enemy woud have been drove 
out of our Country or at least confind to the Town of Sav- 
annah before this, which woud soon have reduced them to 
such a situation as to have oblig'd them to have quitted 
it or Perish — their force of Regular Troops is not consider- 
able between 3 & 4000 Men at the uttermost & of our Tories 
(the New York Lievies) & what have joined them from 
Florida the back parts of this state & of the Georgians, 
between 2 & 3000 more, this is the very extent of their 
force. If General Lincoln can once have as many regular 
Troops under his Comm'd as they have, I have not the 
least doubt he woud soon give a very good Account of 
them — shoud they flush'd with success determine to make 
a Summers Campaign with us, & we are tolerably sup- 
ported, so as to have it in our power to shut them up in 
the Town, & Harrass them & keep them to hard Duty. 
I dare say 'twill be the last they will make so far So'therly, 
the Climate in the Months of July, August &: September 
v/ill in all probability put an end to it with them, with a 

I have set my Negros to planting in this state about 
15 miles from Cha's Town on Ashley River, where I am 
with my Family, this I thought the best for the present, 
for the Enemy will hardly leave Georgia or be drove out 


of it, time enough to do any thing there this year, I left 
12 or 13 of my best slaves in Georgia, some of w'ch I never 
expect to see again, if I do any of them, besides w'ch I left 
a Considerable property in goods household furniture, Cattle* 
Hogs, Sheep &c not having time to get them off, however 
I am in hopes it will be in my power (sooner or later) to 
make it up when I get back, out of the property of some of 
their loyal friends — I find through hurry I left all my 
lottery Ticketts behind me, & as some Villian or other may, 
attempt by fraud to make a bad use of them I must beg the 
favour of you to take such steps as may be necessary to 
prevent it — Mr. Wereat & myself Act for the Managers 
in our state, so that nothing can happen this way, there is 
70 of them in the whole that I was concernd in, all of the 
first class, some of which I find drew twenty Dollar prizes, 
w'ch with some others I have renewed in the second Class, 
the Numbers are No. 98,141 a 98,150 and 99,442 a 99,501,-1 
mentioned to you in my last that I shoud have no objection 
to your sending a Vessel to Charles Town, while the Enemy 
are in our Country. I am still of the same opinion & 
believe it woud do very well. Flour sells @ £80 to i85 this 
Money, equal to 50 a 52 Dollars, Barr Iron in great demand 
& very high, as is every other Article, Cruisers have been 
very thick on the Coast but the general Embargo has & 
will be the means of their quitting it. Vessels Drop in 
frequently particularly small ones ; I shoud be glad to hear 
frequently from you & when a probability of a Speedy Con- 
veyance to get a News Paper or two — you may direct under 
cover to any friend in Chas. Town, & I shall receive them 
immediately. If I knew you were Shipping any thing here, 
I believe I could Insure, I am w'th great regard. 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Ashley River So. Carolina the 23d March 79. 
Joseph Carlenton, Esq'r, Pay Master to the Board of War 

& Ordnance 

I wrote you the 18th Dec'r last acknowledging the 
Rec't of Your favour of the 14th Nov'r, also of the sum of 
500,000 Dollars for the use of the Army since w'ch time 
every thing has been in such State of Confusion & distress 
from the Invasions & Progress of the Enemy that it has 
not been in my power to forward my Accounts as usual 
the principal part of my time since we were drove out of 
the State having been employed in procuring a place to fix 
my family & removing them to it. I expect to have them 
all made up by the end of this Month, inclusive so as to 
be ready to transmit them ^ Safe Conveyance. The 
demand of the Military Chest have been so considerable 
from the situation of Affairs, the very advanced price of 
every Article that unless I very shortly receive a supply 
I shall very soon be out of Cash I am now sending to head 
Quarters ^ Order of the General 200,000 Dollars & I have 
some Demand to Discharge which when satisfy'd will not 
leave me in Cash exceeding 80 or 90,000 Dollars which will 
very soon be expended. I must therefore request you will 
lay this matter before the Board for their Information and 
am Sir Your most Obed't Serv't, 

Jos. Clay. 

Ashley River So. Carolina the 3d April 1779. 
Joseph Carleton Esq'r 

I wrote you some days ago advising you that I shoud 
very soon be out of Cash, & requesting you woud lay the 
same before the proper Board for their Information unfor- 
tunately the Case is worse than I then expected & w'ch at 


that time I was unaquainted with for on Examination I 
find that I had little or no Money but of the Emissions of the 
11th April 1778 & this Day paid away the whole of the 
Money in my hands now in Circulation ; this happen'd by 
an unavoidable Accident : owing to the Situation of Affairs 
here the Money that was sent to me from the Board of War 
before the last, was all of the Emission of the 11th of April 
1778 this came as far as Cha's Town, So. Car'a where I then 
happen'd to be just at the time that Prevost w'th the Flori- 
dians &c made an irruption into the southerd parts of our 
State for w'ch reasons I thought it best to lodge the greatest 
part of it in Cha's Town Gen'l Howe also recommended 
me to do so, a short time after arrived in Georgia 500,000 
Dollars of the Emission of the 26th Sept, 1778, which of 
course I paid away first in discharge of Drafts as they came 
to hand, w'ch occasioned the Money that came before & 
w'ch is now out of Circulation to be last on hand, that I 
have near 400,000 Dollars by me of the 11th April last (and 
no other) I presume I must lodge the whole of this with the 
Commissioners of the loan office as directed by the Resolves 
of Congress of the 2d Jan'y last publish'd in the Gazettes 
of the several States. I must request you will lay this before 
the proper Board for their Information. You will receive 
all my Accounts in a few days & am w'th respect. Sir, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

So Carolina 1st May 1779 
John Gibson Esq'r Auditor General 

Inclosed is Account of sums paid by me as D. P. M, G. 
for the State of Georgia from the 1st Dec'r to the 30th Ulto 
Ball'e then Remaining in my hands the property of the 
United States, as ^ Acc't Curr't, One hundred & Eiglit 
Thousand Six hundred & Seventy two Pounds, eleven 


Shill'gs 8>4 Geo'a Curr'y equal to 434,690 1-3 Dollars, the 
situation of our state from the Progress of the Enemy in it 
having oblig'd me with my Family to quit & take shelter 
in this, (untill we can recover & get back into our own 
again) has put it out of my power to transmitt my Accounts 
so regularly or soon as I woud otherways have done. 

I must beg you will inform the Treasury Board that I 
am quite out of Circulating Cash, the whole of the Bills 
now in my possession (a very small sum excepted) being of 
the Emission of the 11th April, 1778, this arose from my 
lodging in Charles Town the greatest part of the sum sent 
to me in Oct'r last, Prevost from Florida being at the time 
of its arrival here penetrating into Georgia, which induced 
me for the sake of Security to leave it there, the conse- 
quence of w'ch was that the sum sent last & w'ch came 
direct to Georgia, was paid away first, & by that means the 
Money that came before & w'ch was all Emitted under the 
Resolves of Congress passed the 11th April, 1778 remained 
to the last. I have already lodged 206,000 Dollars w'th the 
Commissioners of loan ofhce for this State, & shall lodge the 
Remainder in a Day or two. We are very much at a loss 
for want of a pay list for the whole of the Military & Civil 
Staff Officers, there has never been a Compleat one sent me, 
I do not even know what is allowed to any Deputy I may 
appoint under me. I shoud be very glad some mode was 
pointed out by W'ch I may have my Acc'ts setled at Short 
periods — I must request the favour of you to lay my 
Accounts & these several matters before the Treasury 
Board, & am w'th respect, 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 


Ashley River May 4th 1779. 
Philotheos Chiffelle Esq'r 

On our arrival at Camp the last time we found such of 
the Georgians as were there had met the day we reached 
there & had adjourn'd till the 10th Inst., then to meet near 
Augusta in consequence of w'ch we again return'd much 
sooner than we expected. We propose setting off tomor- 
row & tis very possible it will be a considerable time before 
we come back as we are inform'd General Lincoln is in 
Georgia. I had no Opportunity of Purchasing while 1 was 
out or since — Rice I understand might be purchas'd low 
about Pocataligo but I was apprehensive the Risk in getting 
it round from there was great. Mr. Telfair is come down 
but he understood there was a probability of Indico rising 
& of course declines selling, tho I find on inquiry the great- 
est part of his is still up the Country. I am much oblig'd to 
you for Liodging my Money & must again trouble you to 
Lodge the Remainder, for which purpose I have herewith 
Inclosed you Mr. Owens Receipt for 218,143 Dollars but 
I must further trouble you to make a payment out of it to 
Mr. Dorsius who has two old Warrants on me the one for 
3177 2-3 & the other for 9553 1-5 Dollars making 12730 52-80 
Dollars. I was in Town the other day on purpose to have 
taken them up but Mr. Dorsius's Clerks were not to be 
found & he could not get at the Orders however he has sent 
me a Copy of the Accounts & Warrants & I have included 
them as paid in some Accounts I have transmitted to Con- 
gress in consequence of his agreeing to take this Money for 
them though called out of Circulation as the Warrants were 
of so Old a Date & had not been produced till very late, I 
had many doubts about the paying of them however as my 
Accounts were open not having ballanced them since I came 
from Georgia till now I have included them as paid near the 
time if their date, therefore I woud not have the Receipt 
Dated as at this time nor is there a necessity for any Date a 
Receipt for so much in full of the several Warr's is all that 


is necessary least it might not occur to you at time of Paying 
I have wrote a Rec't on one of the copies Mr. Dorsius sent 
me in Order to remind you when you take them on the 
Originals after these two sums are paid there will remain 
205,412 Dollars & 8-60 to be lodged in the hands of the 
Commissioners of the Loan Office unless there shoud have 
been any Errors in the counting of it which may very possi- 
bly have happend. We are Daily look out for you & Mrs, 
Young as its near the time you talk'd of being this way if 
any thing Interesting shoud happen during your absence I 
shoud be very glad of a line I presume the late incursion 
of the Enemy will greatly alarm poor Mrs. Dillon I have 
not heard any particulars but from what I can learn the 
Enemy meant to surprise that Post or draw Gen'l Lincoln's 
attention from Georgia, perhaps both but am hopefull their 
intentions will be defeated. 
I am w'th regard 

D'r Sir Your most Ob't Serv't 

J. Clay. 

Ashley River May 4th, 1779. 
John Lewis Gervais Esq'r. 
D'r Sir 

Since I had the pleasure of seeing you I rec'd your 
several favours of the 29th March & 9th Ulto the former 
did not come to hand till I returned from Camp, so that 
I had no Opportunity of applying to the Gen'l for a War- 
rant for the Ama't of General Howes Receipt those you 
gave me before, I apply'd to the General for, who very 
readily directed that Warrants shoud be made out for 
them, & on my Asking him for them two or three days 
after he told me he had Ordered them to be sent you ^ an 
Express (that came down if I am not Mistaken to you rela- 
tive to Money) I go for the So'ward tomorrow & shall see 
the General & will apply to him for a Warrant for the sum 


you paid General Howe ^ his Receipt & will send it to 
you or bring it down w'th me. I shall be glad to learn 
the others came safe to hand & were made out as you woud 
wish I discounted that all my Money was of Emissions 
called out of Circulation the day I sett off for Camp & not 
before, its very lucky you rec'd so timely a supply the 
General recommended me to lodge it with the Commis- 
sioners of the loan Office in consequence of which I was 
in Charles Town two days for that purpose but the Com- 
missioners were so throng'd with people bringing in sums 
of the like Money that I coud not accomplish it, on w'ch 
I apply'd to Mr. Owen to let me lodge the Remainder of 
my Money in your Chest till I coud get it lodg'd with the 
Commissioners, which he was good enough to do & Mr, 
Chiffelle was so kind as to promise he woud take an Oppor- 
tunity to lodge it with the Commissioners for me. 

I am very glad you supply'd Col'l Marbury with the 
Amount of the Generals Warrant on me, I am sure the 
General will furnish a warrant for it as soon as its men- 
tioned to him if its not already sent you if you will let 
me know I will apply to him for you I have sent you 2 or 
3 letters for the N'ward w'ch I will be much oblig'd to 
you to forward ^ the safe Conveyances that may offer if 
any thing Interesting shoud occur I will be oblig'd to you 
for a line Camp further than the Operations of it is very 
destitute of Intelligence I am w'th great regard 

Ashley River 1st June 1779. 
Major Rice 
Dear Sir: 

Since I saw you last I received a letter from the War 
Office (Copy of which you have annexed) relative to a 
Sum paid Capt. Hancock directing me to deduct the same 
out of his Pay — as I have no money at present the General 
will of course draw on Mr. Gervais through you for what- 


ever may be due him, you'll therefore make the proper 
deduction as directed by Mr. Carletons letter I have been 
& am very unwell still, or shou'd have been at Camp before 
this. I am 
Mr. Gervais 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

for the above mentioned Letter see the Original Dated the 
15th Dec'r, 1778. 

So. Carolina June 9th 1779. 
No. 1 

Joseph Carleton Esq'r, Pay Master to the Board of War 

& Ordnance 

I rec'd your favour of the 10th Ulto & observe you 
had applied to the Board of Treasury relative to the supply- 
ing me with a further sum of Money for the purpose of 
paying the Troops & defraying the Expences of the Mili- 
tary Department, & their Answer thereto, & am much 
oblig'd to you for the trouble you have taken therein, the 
necessity & propriety of my application they must before 
this be well convinced of, as my Letters wrote since the 
Date of the one you acknowledge the Receipt of, must 
have come to hand before this, by w'ch they will find that 
I am intirely out of circulating Cash & have been so for 
sometime past — the Georgia Troops & Military depart- 
ment are now supplied out of the Carolina Chest, which 
will undoubtedly create confusion, particularly in the pay- 
ing of the Troops, & this will daily increase, more 
especially in future, as Numbers of the Inhabitants are 
now Embodied in the state, and more are daily going in, 
& Troops will probably March there immediately in Order 


to attempt the driving the Enemy quite out of the State 
while they are weak (their remain force being now in this) 
of course large sums will be wanted for various purposes. 
I rec'd your favour of the 15th Dec'r last only about 
8 days, ago however it came in time to Answer the pur- 
pose intended, Capt. Hancock had just settled his Account, 
& Received a Ballance that was due him from Major Rice, 
who Acted as Deputy both to me & Mr. Gervais, & to 
whom I transmitted a Copy of your Letters & in conse- 
quence of w'ch Mr. Rice immediately apply'd to Capt. 
Hancock who he informs me very readily repaid the 500 
Dollars w'ch are to the Credit of the United States in 
Account with Mr, Gervais — ^I hope ere this my Accounts to 
the 30th April are come to hand, I inclosed them to a friend 
of mine in Charles Town to forward, but do not know when 
or by what conveyance he sent them, the situation of 
Affairs from the Enemy being in our Country, has pre- 
vented my being as regular in transmitting my Accounts 
as I coud wish, I am with respect 

Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

So. Carolina June 9th 1779. 
No. 2. 

John Gibson Auditor General 

I rec'd your favour of the 10th Ulto relative to Money 
rec'd by me from the State of Georgia on loan, directing 
me to purchase with Continental Money as much Georgia 
Currency as will repay the like sum to the State of Georgia, 
I imagine the Board of Treasury at the time of Making 
this order must not have had a retrospect to the whole 
of my Accounts transmitted from time to time, the Receipt 
of w'ch have been acknowledged, or they woud have found 
that I had nothing like a sufficient sum of circulating Cash 
in my hands to enable me to comply with their directions, 


I have not my Books or papers now with me (having sent 
them up the country for safety, least they shoud fall into 
the Enemys hands as the chance of War is uncertain) so 
that I cannot write with precision on the subject, but if I 
recollect right I rec'd from the State of Georgia in Conti- 
nental Currency on loan £25,000 Say 100,000 Dollars & 
w'ch I expect will in a very short time be demanded of me 
in like Money, as I gave a Receipt at the time of Receiving 
it promising to repay it in like Money when in Cash, there 
was very Considerable sums advanced by the State for. 
the Use of the Army before I was appointed Pay Master, 
& I believe you will find by my Accounts that I have 
received considerably more than 400,000 Dollars in the 
Curr'y of the State, so that it will be impossible for me 
to comply with their directions till I receive a sufficient 
supply of Money, there is no doubt I shall be able to pur- 
chase the Georgia Currency much under the Value of 
Continental Currency, but notwithstanding, to repay the 
100,000 Dollars to supply the Daily wants of the Army, 
& to purchase up the Georgia Currency will require a 
large sum — at present I am quite out, I have lodged with 
the Commissioners of the loan Office between 420 and 
430,000 Dollars of the Emission of the 11th April, but when 
they will be in Cash to reimburse me seems uncertain, as 
soon as I am enabled I shall endeavour to carry their 
directions into Execution and am with respect 
Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

• Head Quarters the 22d Sept'r 1779. 
No. 3 
Gentlemen r 

I received yours of the 15th Instant advising me with 
your having arrived a Cha's Town w'th 500,000 Dollars 
& that you had lodged the same with Mr. Gervais — the 


wants of the Army make it necessary that the whole or 
a part of it shoud be brought here immediately — You'll 
therefore proceed immediately with the whole or such a 
part of it as Mr. Gervais may think proper, whatever you 
may leave in his hands will be the same as if delivered to 
me, & I will give you a Receipt Accordingly, there is no 
risque in coming here that I know of at present ; however 
prudence will dictate to you to come a long with Caution 
& to make inquirys on the road — I am Gentlemen 

Your most Obed't Serv't 
Messrs. Coleman & Jones, Joseph Clay. 


Savannah 22d Sept'r 1779. 
Head Quarters 2^^ Miles from 
No. 4 
John Lewis Gervais Esq'r 
D'r Sir: 

I rec'd a Letter from Mr. Palfrey advising me he had 
sent 500,000 Dollars for the Use of my Department, and 
by a Letter from the Escorts I received Yesterday I find 
it is Arrived in Your Town & lodged in your hands for 
me by the directions of Gen'l Moultrie who was of opinion 
twas not adviseable to send it here immediately, the 
Demands for the Army are so numerous & pressing, & the 
sum so small in proportion to the wants, that I must 
request the favour of you to direct the Escorts to proceed 
with it here directly, to w'ch purpose I have wrote them, 
if they woud proceed w'th half the sum & leave the other 
with you, twoud be more convenient, & perhaps more pru- 
dent, but how this can be managed I am at a loss — Every- 
thing is preparing for an Attack on the Town, the rainy 
Weather has delayed us very much, they only begun this 
Day to land the Cannon & Mortars, the Weather appears 
now to be cleared up & I hope the Operations will go on 


with Despatch the Town is invested Count D'Staing 
Troops are posted from Brewtons Hill to the Ogeeche 
Road, & Gen'l Lincoln Posted from the Ogeeche Road to 
McGillivrays, the Enemy have sent us word they are 
determined to defend the Town to the last Extremity, 
had Maitland have been prevented from getting into the 
Town (& w'ch was practicable) they woud have Capitulated 
without firing a Gun, there was a few Shot fired last Even- 
ing from Our Galleys at the Enemys Vessels near Salters 
Island, w'ch was returned by them, two of the French 
Vessels also hove in Sight at the same time, the Conse- 
quences of which was that the Shipping that were there 
made the best of their way up the River, & in the course of 
the Night the whole of them, except two got to Town & 
these I suppose will probably do the same the next Tide, 
the Enemy have now no force on the River from Under 
the Cover of their Guns in Town, Except three Galleys 
w'ch still remain Opposite to Mr. Brewtons Plantation 
near to what is call'd the 5 Fathom Hole, they have Burnt 
the General Arnold Privateer & the Lord Geo'e Germaine, 
I imagine they were aground & they did it to prevent their 
falling into our hands I am w'th regard 

D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

State of Georgia 
Camp before Savannah the 27ith Sept'r 1779. 
Wm. Palfrey Esq'r. No. 5 

I rec'd your several favours of the 17th June & 10th 
Ulto the latter of the 23d Ins't & the former not till this 
day — under cover of yours of the lOtli Ulto I rec'd your 
Instructions relative to my Department, as also an Account 
of sums advanced to Officers for different purposes to both 
of w^hich you may depend I shall pay the Strictest atten- 


tion, among these advances is 146 60-90 Doll's paid to 
Lieut's Campbell & Clendennin of the 3d N. Carolina 
Regiment no part of w'ch Regiment are at present either 
in this State or So. Carolina — I have ever made it a con- 
stant practice to have my Account Made up Monthly & 
transmitted as often as Conveyances offerrd except in the 
last Instance, u^hen twas not in my power the Invasion of 
our Country by the Enemy oblig'd me to quit my Possess- 
ion in this State & take Refuge with my family in So. Caro- 
lina (Where they still remain) w'ch with the general Con- 
fusion naturally arising under such Circumstances pre- 
vented my being as regular as usual all my Accounts are 
now in Mr. Gibsons Hands or with the Treasury Board a 
reference to which & my several Letters transmitted with 
them will inform you fully with the State of my depart- 

The Escorts with the last 500,000 Dollars write me 
from Cha's Town of that they had by Gen'l Moultries Order 
lodged the same in the hands of Mr. Gervais for me, he 
(Gen'l Moultrie) being of opinion twas not prudent to 
risque the Money to Head Quarters at this juncture, the 
fate of the present Expedition being in suspence however 
the wants of the Army are so pressing & no Cash in hand 
that by General Lincolns request & advise I have wrote 
them to proceed here immediately w'th a part of the sum, 
& to Guard aga't any Accidents as far as may be, to leave 
the remainder w'th Mr. Gervais of whom I have requested 
the favour to retain the same in his hands till further 
Orders in yours of the 10th Ulto you mention you had 
inclosed several resolves of Congress relative to my Depart- 
ment w'ch I apprehend you must afterwards have forgot, 
as there were no other papers but the above mentioned 
inclos'd, under cover of yours 17th June I have those of 
the 29th May — for want of my being in Cash for some time 
past Gen'l Lincoln has been obliged to draw on Mr. Ger- 
vais for the sums necessary for the service of our State 
of Course I have had no Accounts to transmit during that 


Period the sum you have now sent will be inadequate to 
our wants for any length of time, the very great depre- 
ciation of Money makes large sums necessary for the 
services of the Army, if you have not Money now on the 
way for the Use of this Department over & above the sum 
now sent I shall be out of Cash long before any will come 
to hand w'ch will occasion great Distress, tis not in my 
power to advise what sum may be necessary, for our 
future wants & much less to Specify for what purposes 
however, I shall advise w'th the Gen'l & take the Earliest 
Opportunity of Informing you as near as I can with the 
sum necessary for the use of my Department I shoud be 
very glad to be furnished w'th a Compleat Pay list for the 
Army. I have never yet been supplied with a proper one, 
nor have I ever been able to know what is the Salary 
allowed the D. P. M. G. I saw a Resolve of Congress lately 
by which they Resolve that the D. P. M. G. Salary be 
Augmented to 80 Dol's ^ Month if this is meant for the 
So'thern Depa:rtment Congress must be very badly 
informd of the Value of Money here, or look on the Office 
of so little consequence that they do not care who executes 
it — it is not equal to the Wages given here for the labour 
of a common Negro Porter two Years Salary will hardly 
purchase a Good Horse a tolerable one now brings from 
2 to 3000 Dollars each for my own part I shoud much 
rather render them my Services for nothing that accept a 
Salary so very inadequate I might add disreputable to the 
Service — You have doubtless been inform'd before this 
with the Arrival of Count D Staing on our Coast w'th his 
Fleet & a Number of land Troops, he has landed I believe 
about 4000 Men w'ch with I suppose about 2000 or upwards 
Americans we are now encamped before the Town of Sav- 
annah and are so forward w'th our Approaches as to have 
reason to expect we shall be able to carry the place in a 
very few Days, the Enemy have in the Town according to 
the best Accounts we can obtain between 17 & 1800 Reg- 
ular Troops & about 1000 or 1200 New raised corps Torys 


Seamen & Militia included, they have made two Sallies 
in order to impede & destroy our Works but were repulsed 
with little loss each time the French have Blocked up the 
Port, in w'ch is 2-20 Gun Ships the Rose & Foy* the Vigi- 
lant Mounting 20-18 or 24 Pounders some smaller Arm'd 
Vessels — 3 Galleys & near 80 Sail of Vessels of all sorts, 
a Capture of all which if we succeed in (& of which I have 
no doubt) will to use the Enemys own language conclude 
the Campaign with Brilliant Success, our Militia are daily 
increasing General Lincoln is very well and tho' under- 
going great fatigue in line Spirits he desires his Com- 
plem'ts to you — I hope my next will Congratulate you on 
the Successful conclusion of this Business, and am w'th 

Sir Your most O'bed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Camp before Savannah 

the 28th Septemb'r 1779 
John Lewis Gervais Esq'r, 

Your favour of the 14th Ins't came to hand 
only yesterday owing to its going round by way of 
Augusta I observe you have been under great difficulties 
in regard to Money, & the prospect you had of Borrowing 
a further sum of the Commissioners loan Offices I have 
wrote Mrs. Clay ^ this Conveyance & requested her to 
send you ^ the first safe Opportunity the Commissioners 
Certificates for the sums paid by me into their Hands, I 
do not recollect the exact sum they are for there are three 
of them Amounting in the whole to upwards of 400,000 
Dollars. If they can be of any service you are welcome 
to them I presume your delivering them up the Certificates 

• Powey. 


with your Receipt on them will be sufficient, if not what- 
ever further may be needfull I will at any time do, one of 
them was intended to have been paid to Mr. Dorsius in 
full of two Drafts of Gen'l Howes in his favour, I have 
carried it twice to Town for that purpose but coud not 
effect it ; the last time he was out of Town, & the other 
he coud not come at the Drafts, however as I shall have 
Cash in hand I shall make a reserve of as much as will take 
it up — Mr, Palfreys Letter takes no Notice in any of his 
Letters of the matter you mentiond to me — a Letter from 
a Friend at Philadelphia informs me by mention of Col'l 
Laurens some alterations in the D, P, M, G. Department 
had taken place, but no more, I wrote you some Days ago 
relative to the last Money arrived at your Town for me, 
&. which was Stopped in your hands requesting the favour 
of you to forward a part to me & keep the remainder in 
your possession — Very little of importance has occurrd 
since I wrote you last — the Enemy made an Attempt that 
Day on the French lines & a very vigorous contest ensued 
the French drove the English into their lines w'th consider- 
able loss, but the French in their Return to their own lines 
sufTerrd near as much from Grape Shott fired from the 
Enemies Redoubts, they the British made a second Attempt 
last Night but were repulsed with little loss on our side, 
what was theirs we are not acquainted — Our Approaches 
go on very fast, a few days I hope will Compleat the Busi- 
ness, but amidst all our hoped for Success, this Country 
exhibits a scene of the greatest Distress from the repacity 
& I may say Barbarity of her Professed friends & Citizens, 
but in reallity greatest Enemies those Who inhabit our Sea 
Coasts Friend or Foes I may say without any Exception 
have been plundered of every kind of Property in some 
instances even the Cloaths on their backs this has been por- 
petrated principally by People who came around in Boats 
& small Vessels from your State — Surely they will not 
be Sufiferrd to libel any Property brought away in that 
manner, the French Seamen & Soldiers, led by the Example 


of our own People have, I believe in some places contrib- 
uted their Share, tho its contrary to the Express Orders 
of their Commander, as also of General Lincoln, the interior 
parts of our Country have been equally Distressed, property 
of every kind has been taken from its Inhabitants, their 
Negros, Horses & Cattle drove & carried away principally 
into your State, a Conduct so disgracefull to humanity, & 
Civil Society, I make no doubt will meet w'th the utmost 
Discouragement from your Government, & that it will also 
afford every Assistance to the Unhappy SufTerrers to 
enable them to Recover their Property, & bring to punish- 
ment & public Shame the Actors of such Barbarity, among 
the many Plunderers, one Snipes is mentioned, who tis 
said Commands a Party from your State, this Man, to his 
Eternal Shame, if what is reported of him is true I am 
told Possesses an Affluent Fortune — In every View this is 
Robbery if taken from the Friends of this State the Height 
of Cruelty, and if from the Enemies, they rob the State 
because the Property of such can only be forfeited to the 
State not to any individual — ^I hope my next will Con- 
gratulate you on the Reduction of Savannah, And am w'th 
best respects to Mrs. Gervais, D'r Sir, 

Yours &c 

Joseph Clay. 

Camp before Savannah Oct'r 1st 1779. 
John Lewis Gervais Esq'r. 
D'r Sir: 

Since I wrote you last I have rec'd a Letter from Mr. 
Carleton P. M. to the board of War & Ordnance acquaint- 
ing me that he had sent me 500,000 Dollars for the Use of 
the State of Geo'a & at same time inclosed me a Resolve 
of Congress by which it appears the Money is intended 
for the State of Georgia under certain restructures of w'ch 
Gen'l Lincoln & myself are to be in some measure the 


Judges And as under our present Circumstances it woud 
be improper to have the Money here the General desired 
I woud Endeavour to get it lodged in the Caro'a Treasury 
for a short time or at least untill the Reduction of Savan- 
nah shall be Compleated w'ch lays me under the necessity 
of again troubling you to request that you woud be kind 
enough to get the Governors leave to lodge the same in 
the Treasury of your State untill I can send for it into 
this w'th Safety w'ch I hope will not be long before that 
will be the Case We have nothing New since my last I 
expect our Batterys will be ready to open in 48 hours at 
farthest Our Galleys are Endeavouring to get round the 
Island before the Town the Enemy attempt to impede our 
Works by Shott & Shells but without effect insomuch that 
we now work on them both Day & Night I hope you will 
excuse the great trouble I give you & believe me to be 
w'th regard 

D'r Sir, Yours &c 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. Mr, Drayton I presume can Inform where 

the Escorts are 

Catnp before Savannah Oct'r 4th 1779. 
No. 6 
Joseph Carleton Esq'r. 

Your favour of the 1st Ulto came safe to hand inclos- 
ing a Resolution of Congress of the 30th Aug't last relative 
to the sum of 500,000 Dollars Voted by Congress for the 
use of the State of Georgia, w'ch sum is come safe to hand 
& has been received by my Friend Mr. Gervais in Cha's 
Town, who I have by the advise of General Lincoln desired 
to retain the same there till the Reduction of Savannah is 


Compleated, w'ch I hope will be effected in a very few 
Days, and am w'th respect 

Yours &c 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. the Escorts have rec'd 3040 Dollars to bear their 
Expences back again as ^ Receipts transmitted you, w'ch 
you'll please notice Mr. Gervais will also transmitt you a 
Rec't for 500,000 Dollars. 

Camp before Savannah 

5th Oct'r 1779. 
Wm. Palfrey Esq'r. 

Since I wrote you last I rec'd your favour of the 24th 
Aug't covering Resolves of Congress relative to the Addi- 
tional Subsistance Money to the Officers & Soldiers, w'ch 
have been notify'd to the Reg't Pay Master I have given 
the Escorts receipts for the 500,000 Dollars w'ch I presume 
they will produce to you, they apply'd to me for a sum to 
defray their Expences back again but I referrd them to 
Col'l Drayton Q M. Gen'l in So. Caro'a to whom Gen'l 
Lincoln wrote on the Subject in Consequence of his (Col'l 
Drayton) writing him relative to a Horse one of the Escorts 
rode w'ch was Claimed in Cha's Town — We shall very soon 
be out of Money, the Gen'l has already drawn on me for 
near 400,000 Dollars, not one farthing of which is for Pay 
to the Army, so that unless you have Money on the way 
we shall very soon be in a Distressed Situation. 

Our Batteries were opened Yesterday w'th what effect 
we are not able to Judge, — their firing on us has been very 
inconsiderable, a few Days I am hopefull will put us in 
Possession of Town — the Count D'Staing we are informd 
took a Frigate & Two Transports (I believe w'th Stores) 


the Day before Yesterday — I have not learnt the Vessels 
Name I am w'th respect, 

Sir, Yours &c 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. I forgot to notice that Coleman has received 
from Mr. Gervais (who paid it for me) two hundred 

Camp before Savannah 

October 5th, 1779. 
Jno, Lewis Gervais, Esq'r. 
D'r Sir: 

Since my last I have rec'd your favour of the 27th 
Ulto ^ Messrs. Coleman & Brown of whom I have 
rec'd 500,000 Dollars, & a Copy of Escorts receipts who 
brought the Money from Mr. Carleton for Three Thousand 
& forty Dollars making together 500,000 Dollars I observe 
in the Copy of the Receipt you sent me it says only 340 
Dollars this I presume is a Mistake the word hund'd being 
inserted instead of thousand — Your sending the whole sum 
instead of the half has proved fortunate Mr. Livingstone 
has as you noticed a Draft on me for 200,000 Dollars w'ch 
he presented for Payment as soon as the Money arrived 
here, so that I have but little more on hand than I at first 
Expected, as I have already wrote you relative to the other 
shall not add — I hope Mrs. Clay has been able to furnish 
you w'th the Certificates of the Commissioners of the loan 
Office as I acquainted her were to find them, inclosed is a 
Receipts for the 500,000 Dollars sent by Mr. Carleton with 
which you may take up yours if the Escorts has not left 
your Town — The Gen'l has this minute acquainted me he 
has Drawn a Draft on me for a Considerable sum in favour 
of Mr. Drayton w'ch he wish'd to have paid him in Cha's 
Town w'ch I promised him I woud beg the favour of you 


to do for me, I will be oblig'd to you to pay it to him out 
of the Money sent by Mr. Carleton — Our Batterries were 
open'd yesterday Morning with what effect we are not able 
to Judge the Enemys fire has been very Weak so much 
so, that it cannot be imputed to any thing but a want of 
Powder or Shott — the Express waits while I write this 
therefore can only add that I am w'th great regard, 
D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Ashley River 17th October 1778.* 
D'r Sir: 

On my reaching Purisbourgh I found (as I before sus- 
pected) that Isaac Lagardere had proceeded on w'th my 
Negros &c and the Public Money w'ch laid me under the 
Necessity of following him immediately I reached here 
late last Evening & have been this day making out sundry 
papers necessary for your guidance in Executing the Office 
of Deputy Pay Master at least so far as will be sufficient 
till I see you again, or you can write as you may find 
occasion or be in want of further information — the follow- 
ing are what you will receive herewith — Viz — 

a list of the Pay of the Army agreeable to the latest 
Establishment so far as they have came to my hands. 

The last Resolves of Congress Allowing a further sum 
for Subsistance to Officers & Soldiers passed 18th & 19th 
August last. 

a list of advances to sundry Officers & Men w'ch must 
be Discounted out of their Pay as Opportunitys offer. 

a Paper containing a few Instructions for your Direc- 
tion in Executing the Office w'ch I must desire you will 
attend to as nearly as in your Power You'l observe as 
Person but the Commander in Chief of the Department 
(Gen'l Lincoln) has any Authority to draw on you nor 

•1779 (?) 


must you on any pretence pay any Money to the Order of 
any other person — the Pay Rolls must be made out fair 
by the Regimental Pay Masters every Month as well as 
the Abstracts the former must be Signed by the Captain or 
Commanding Officer of each Company the latter by the 
Col'l or Commanding Officer of the Regiment & by the 
Gen 1 or commanding Officer of the Brigade after these 
requisites are comply'd with you are to Examine them by 
Comparing them with the pay Lists (& Muster Rolls when 
you are furnished with them by the Muster Master) to 
see that the pay is charg'd agreable to the Estabishment 
by Congress to observe that the Officers do not exceed the 
Number allowed by said Establishment & to take Care 
that the sums are right Cast after which & your certifying 
the same they are again to be Examined & Certify'd by the 
Auditor which being done the General will give his War- 
rant on you for the Amount w'ch you will pay this I believe 
is nearly the Channel in regard to the Payment of the 
Troops will go through all other matters will be by War- 
rant only — You will take care to transmit me monthly an 
Account of all the sums you pay Specifying particularly 
for what purpose they have been paid the Date of the 
Warrants ordering the Payment & if for Pay of the Troops 
the time for which it was paid & to whom — I have here- 
with sent you one hundred & Seventy one thousand Dol- 
lars for which you will send me ^ the Bearer three 
Receipts of the same tenor & Date to serve as one the 
Generals Warrants will be your Vouchers for the Expendi- 
ture & which I shall take up from time to time as may be 
Convenient by giving you my Receipt for the Amount of 
them which will be against those you give me. 

Capt. Watts of Blands Horse gave me his Pay Rolls 
for their Regiment made up to the 1st Instant, I have not 
had time to Examine them properly I just run them over 
in haste and have made some remarks on the back of the 
Instructions in any matters of difficulty you must apply 
to the General or Auditor tho the Resolves of Congress 


must be our surest guide when a Regiment, Company, or 
Detachment March from one State to the other they shoud 
take with them from the P. M. General of the State they 
come from a Certificate certifying the time they were paid 
up to in the State they came from — I presume Col'l Tem- 
pleton or his Pay Master has one to that purpose as they 
appear to be tolerably regular & exact in their Pay Rolls 
the Abstract is not yet compleated I presume waiting till 
the Rolls were Examined as an Error in one will make an 
Error in the other — Col'l Doolly also gave me his pay Rolls 
made up for different Periods I promised him to examine 
them but time wond not permit without detaining the 
Money longer from you than woud be proper indeed I am 
quite at a loss in regard to them that is in what manner 
the service shoud be certify'd I think the Executive body 
of the State ought to Certify the Services done during their 
€xistance the General I presume will direct on that head 
Pray write me the State of matters at Camp if the Siege is 
continued or a Blockade formed I will be with you in a 
few days if any thing important is like to take place you 
may detain the Bearer a Day or two inclosed is a Letter 
for General Lincoln — give my Compliments to General 
Mcintosh. — I am w'th regard 
D'r Sir 
Major Handley. Your most Obed't Serv't, 

Joseph Clay. 

P. S. You will take the Receipt for the Money paid on 
Warrants &c in my Name as they will be drawn on me. 

Ashley River Oct'r 18th 1779. 
Major Gen'l Lincoln 

I mentioned to you before I left Camp that I had sent 
the Public Money over the River & that I was apprehensive 
the Person I intrusted it to had come on with it w'ch I 


found to be the Case, this laid me under the necessity of 
Proceeding here after it; before I came away I engaged 
Capt. Geo'e Handley of the 1st Geo'a Battallion & one of 
Gen'l Mclntoshs Aids to Act as my Deputy during my 
absence, which I hope will meet with your approbation — 
to enable him to perform this Duty I have sent him proper 
Instructions Conformable to those I have received from 
time to time for my own Guidance — I have also sent him 
171,000 Dollars to enable him to Discharge your Warrants 
so far as it will go, this leaves in my Hands less than 29,000 
Dollars of the sum that came last, exclusive of the Draft 
in favour of Col'l Drayton, w'ch was paid out of the Money 
that came for the use of the State of Georgia, & there are 
several Small Warrants unpaid that will nearly absorb the 
Remainder of the Money in my hands — Col'l Doolly deliv- 
ered me before I left camp Pay Rolls for his Regiment 
Certify'd by himself for Pay due his Officers & Men, him- 
self included, for services Performd from the 1st of March 
to the 1st Instant Amounting in the whole to upwards of 
30,000 Dollars as this is out of the Common Road I am at 
a loss how to Act, they are all charged agreable to the rate 
of Pay allowed by Congress, but as to the times of service 
the Men were actually on Duty (for during that time only 
I apprehend they are entitled to Pay) how that is to be 
check'd I know not, as there was no Brigadier or Execu- 
tive Body in the State during part of the time which will 
I apprehend lay us under the necessity of closing them in 
the best manner we can the Number of Men included in 
them is upwards of 400, & above 25 Officers Capt. Handley 
has the Rolls & will shew them to you. 
I am with great respect, 

Sir Yours &c 

Joseph Clay. 


Charles Town 2d Nov'r 1779. 
Mr. Christopher Pechin 
D'r Sir: 

I have received none of your favours since my last to 
you which has rather surprised me & led me to fear least you 
have been unwell — Our hopes have been lately very much 
raised with the Expectation of being able w'th the Assist- 
ance of the Count D'Staing to have drove the Enemy 
intirely out of Georgia, but tho' in Conjunction w'th our 
Allies the French we were strong enough to have effected 
it, yet Principally for want of time we failed ; an Attempt 
was made to carry the Town by Storm, w'ch did not Suc- 
ceed, & time & Circumstances not admitting the Count to 
Stay long enough on our Coast to compleat the Reduction 
of the Place by a regular Siege we were oblig'd to desist 
for the present ; however as we are Daily in expectation of 
a Body of Troops from N. Carolina & Virginia we hope 
when they arrive to be able to Act on the Offensive again 
unless the Enemy shoud be reinforced before that time 
these States complain very much & w'th great reason how 
much they have been neglected by the N'thern & Eastern 
States for though it is well known how weak they are yet 
about 300 Horse & Foot from Virginia is all the Assistance 
of regular Troops we have ever received, & as to Naval 
Force, tho we have been in the greatest need (& we observe 
to the Estward) they are forever Cruising & Daily sending 
in Prizes) we have never had even a single Vessel to look 
into our Ports the Enemy were before we drove them all 
into Savannah Principally at Beaufort in this State & at 
Savannah in Georgia they had a Small Post at Sunburry 
& another at Ebenezer & Acted only on the Defensive but 
if they get reinforced there is no doubt they will soon com- 
mence Offensive Opperations, repossess themselves of their 
former Posts & if possible possess themselves of this Town; 
a small Force I believe wont do it — its now Strong & they 
are Daily adding to its Works — I have received one or two 
Letters Lately from Polly Bridges complaining much of 


her Situation, & pressing me to inform her of her Affairs, 
desiring to know if her Estate is sold & the Money at 
Interest or if Rented w'ch surprised me much — I have been 
so much about this last 10 Months & taken up with other 
Matters that I have hardly once looked into my Books 
there is a Ball'e due the Estate I believe of near £80 or 
thereabouts and that is all Mr. Farley never paid me a 
farthing more than the Tobacco I sent you — -The House 
Capt. Bridges never paid for & Mr. Butler of whom it was 
Bought Sued for the purchase Money levied on the house 
& sold it to pay himself — I have not my Books in Town or 
I woud send you an exact State of the Account, but I will 
do it very shortly, the mean while you may advance for me 
on Account of Moneys in my hands due said Estate 200 
Continental Dollars & as soon as I have ascertaind the 
Ball'e she may have the remainder — I have wrote her by 
this Opportunity — my Family are at present about 15 
Miles out of Town, but I am about taking a House for them 
in Town — I now Act as Pay Master General for this State 
as well as Georgia which requires my being here so much 
that I am under the necessity of doing it — Every thing is 
very dear Flour 90 Dollars & very scarce Barr Iron & Ship 
Bread also very high & in Short, every other Article the 
same — ^the Produce of this Country is in Proportion Rice 31 
Dollars ^ 100ft) Indico 6@7 Dollars ^ ft) Sole Leather not 
to be had — the Risque on our Coast is not near so great as 
it was & if the French & Spaniards keep a Superiority at 
Sea & the latter Attack the Florida's as is hourly expected 
it will Still be less if you see an opening to Adventure here 

1 believe when Produce woud not Answer to Ship I coud 
procure good Bills Dry goods are in General from 25 to 
40 for one the Sterling Cost, many Articles much more, 
Osnabrigs from 7 to 8 Dollars ^ Yd — Irish Linnen in the 
same proportion, Rum from 20 to 30 Dollars, Coffee l-}4 to 

2 Dollars ^ tb — Brown Sugar about the same Price — as I 
shall now I hope soon be a little setled (if the Enemy dont 
send a considerable reinforcements this Winter w'ch we 


are much afraid of) I shoud be very glad to receive our 
Accounts & a News Paper now & then I have a Brother 
from Europe this last summer who has setled at Williams- 
burgh in Virginia & has been tolerably Successfull, if you 
shoud have any Commands there you may be assured of his 
Punctuality he is well acquainted w'th Business being 
Brought up in an English & Dutch House — I shall be very 
glad to hear from you & am w'th regard, D'r Sir, 

Yours &c 

Joseph Clay. 

Charles Town November 2d 1779. 
Mr. James Clay 
Dear Brother: 

I received yours of the 6th August, w'ch I shoud have 
notic'd before this but have been principally travelling, or 
in Camp, from whence I had no Opportunity of Conveying 
a line to you — I am very glad you are likely to Succeed 
so well — the present times are very hazardous but were 
Success is obtained in a tolerable degree great Profits is 
commonly the Consequence — the principal care you must 
have is to Guard against a Depreciating Currency other- 
ways you may be deceived, what may appear a great Profit 
to Day may from the Depreciation of Money in a very 
short Period Sink into nothing; Nay sink both Capital & 
Profits too ; I wish you had receiv'd my other Letter in 
that I gave you my opinion on this Subject at large at any 
Rate you must keep your Money Circulating — I did Busi- 
ness sometime in 1777 for a Gentleman of Virginia Mr. 
John Burnley, who left a Ballance in my hands of I think 
about £520, Georgia Currency (reckoning Dollars at 5s 
Each) equal to 2080 Dollars which he desired me to lay 
out for him in Lands & to inform a Brother of his who 
resides in Virginia what I did in the matter, & gave me 
his Name & place of Residence, w'ch unfortunately through 


the confusion of the times & moving about I have lost or 
shoud have wrote him before this — I think his Name was 
Charles Burnley but am not certain but I dare say on 
inquiry you may find him out, inclosed is a line for him 
the Substance of w'ch you may Copy that in Case the Letter 
shoud miscarry & you at any time hereafter shoud see or 
hear of the Gentleman, You may be able to give him the 
necessary information — I am but very lately returned 
from Camp before Savannah, which we had every reason 
to expect that we shoud in Conjunction with our Allies 
the French, have reduced. We made an attempt to carry 
the Town by Storm in which we failed & the Count 
De Staing not being able to stay ou our Coast w'th his 
fleet long enough to carry it by a regular Siege, & we not 
having a sufficient Force of our own to carry it on without 
his Assistance were oblig'd to give the matter up — We 
have been much disappointed in the not Arriving of Gen'l 
Scots Brigade from your State whom we have been 
expecting for some Months past; there not being here in 
time may Prove of the most fatal Consequences to these 
two States (So, Car'a & Geo'a) in particular, & the con- 
tinent in General; had they have been here at this juncture 
we coud at least converted the Siege of Savannah into a 
Blockade instead of retiring from it — the whole Force of 
the Enemy in both States had retired into the Town for 
Shelter, they did not hold a foot of Land besides, the con- 
sequence of w'ch woud have been, they must either have 
came out & fought us under every disadvantage, or have 
Capitulated — The reverse may be that they get Strongly 
reinforced from the Northward, penetrate into & Perhaps 
reduce one or more of these States for they are but Weak, 
& thereby Encourage the Enemy to go on with the War 
which in all probability without some Success to Buoy 
them up they woud give up the ensuing Winter. I have 
not had a line from my Brother Ralph for a very long time 
past, nor did I ever learn any thing relative to our Fathers 
Death, not even when he did Die I learnt he was Dead & 


that was all ; I presume the very precarious conveyances 
has prevented Letters getting to hand indeed I have from 
that Consideration but very rarely wrote since the War 
began — all the Letters you mention came safe to hand the 
one to Mr. Ewen (who is dead) also, the Estate it referred 
to is in possession of the Enemy at present, so that nothing 
can be done in it; when they are drove out I will obtain 
the necessary information. I know the Circumstances of 
it in a General way — Mr. Beale never came this way it was 
Jno. Habersham's Name you must have seen among the 
Names of the Prisoners he was a Major in the first Geo'a 
Continentai Battallion, & was taken at the time the Enemy 
Possessed themselves of Savannah he is Still a Prisoner, 
but we expect him to be Exchang'd in a few days — his 
Brothers are both well Mrs. Joseph Habersham his Wife 
& Daughter are now at my house on a Visit he resides at 
present about 100 Miles up the Country, tho' both him & 
myself have been the Principal part of last Summer in the 
upper parts of Georgia — I am now about taking a House for 
my Family in this Town I at present Act as Pay Master 
General for the Army for both these States (So. Car'a & 
Geo'a) which will require me to be so much here that with 
some other Circumstances induces me to this Step I have 
done very little Business since the present War began, the 
mode of carrying it on was repugnant to my principles & 
what I deemed (& Experience has since proved) to be the 
Interest of our Country that I never coud enter into it with 
any Spirit I held a part in a Number of Adventures which 
turned out but indiflferrent owing to Captures, I did a very 
little better than save myself however as I shall have a 
good deal of Leisure on my hands I intend to turn myself 
that way in future, indeed the great Depreciation of Money 
will lay me under the necessity of doing it in my own 
defence — 'Charles Town is a Place well adopted for it on 
every Account, I believe there has been more Business done 
here than in any Port on the Continent, Boston excepted, 
since the present Contest began I shall have some advan- 


tage tho' I have fix'd no plan nor Indeed do I intend to 
pursue any in particular, but to Act just as Circumstances 
may admit, indeed the times will not allow of any fix'd 
Plan — I am not fond of being- concerned in Shipping unless 
it was very fast Sailing small Vessels, or well Armed large 
ones, I do not know whether we could do any thing between 
here & Virginia I shoud be glad of we could — I am not 
acquainted with the Prices w'th you so that I cannot Judge, 
have you any Insurance Office, a small Vessel inland may 
go tolerably safe, Vessels for Sale are exceedingly Scarce 
& very dear here. Perhaps we might contrive Voyages 
round by the W. Indies, the French Fleet have lately 
scoured our Coast indeed they have not yet left it, a Frigate 
& two 20 Gun Ships are now in this Port they will sail the 
first fair Wind but we expect 3 Frigates from the N'ward 
which will be a Security to the Trade, however we also 
expect the Enemy will if they can get reinforcements here 
give us some Employ this Winter, herewith you will receive 
the Prices of many Articles here but they are so fluctuating 
that but little Judgement can be formed from them — Mrs. 
Clay Presents her love from your Aflfectionate Brother 
and Friend 

Joseph Clay. 

Head Quarters Cha's Town 

November 2d 1779 
No. 8 

We have considered your Letter of the 27th Ult'o to 
Mr. Clay relative to the Money granted by Congress for 
the Use of the State of Georgia, & are very sorry that 
agreable to their Vote granting the same, it is not in our 
Power to comply with your request — You'll please notice 
by the Resolve of Congress they direct "the 500,000 Dol- 
"lars which by a Resolution of the 24th Instant — That the 


"five hundred thousand Dollars which by a resolution of 
"the 24th Ins't were ordered to be transmitted for the Use 
"of the State of Georgia to the Executive Authority thereof 
"be sent to Joseph Clay Esq'r Paymaster to the department 
"of So. Carolina & Georgia, and that he be directed to 
"Pay the same to the Orders of the Governor & Executive 
"Council of the Said State of Georgia established agreable 
"to the Constitution of the Said State, or in case no such 
"establishment Shall have been made, to be otherwise dis- 
"posed of as the said J. Clay Esq'r with the advice of Major 
"General Lincoln or the Commander of the Services in that 
"Department for the time being Shall judge most con- 
"ducive to the Service and welfare of the Said State of 

You'll observe Congress are extremely pointed in the 
manner of appropriating of this Money, though the present 
Executive Authority Established in your State may be the 
best, or the only one, that under the present Circumstances 
can be Establish'd, yet we dare say Sir, You will concur 
wit'h us in opinion when we Say it has not the requi- 
sites required by Congress in the first Instance not being 
Established agreable to the Constitution of your State — to 
have brought your Application within the meaning of the 
latter part of the Resolve, we are of opinion it shoud have 
set forth the particular purpose for which it is wanted in 
Order that we might be able to Judge whether the apply- 
ing it to that purpose, woud be most Conducive to the 
Service & Welfare of your State in which Case only have 
we a right to grant. We are w'th respect 

Sir Your most O'bed't Serv'ts 
Joseph Clay 

The Hon'ble John Wereat Esq'r 

Benj'n Lincoln 


Cha's Town 2d November 1779 
No. 9 
Will'm Palfrey Esq'r 

I embrace the present opportunity to Urge the neces- 
sity of my being supply'd as soon as possible with Money, 
the sum you sent last is expended, & we have been under 
the necessity of Borrowing as much more to answer the 
present exigencies to which is also nearly paid away — in a 
very few da3'-s I do not expect to have a farthing in hand, 
the Quarter Master Commissary & Clothiers Generals & 
indeed every other Department is supplied out of the Mili- 
tary Chest, these Departments are not furnished with 
Money, by their different heads of Course the General 
is Compelled to draw on me to enable them to support 
their Departments, tis impossible for me to conduct my 
Ofllice properly without being regularly Supplied with 
Money — Accounts become long Standing, Pay Rolls are 
extended to many Months, instead of Monthly, Complaints 
murmurings & every other disagreable Circumstance nat- 
urrally attending such a Situation takes place — I shall be 
much obliged to you to send me the several Resolves of 
Congress relative to my office — I am greatly at a loss for 
want of them — I am now making up my Accounts for last 
Month which shall transmit ^ next safe Convey'e & shall 
then write you fully nothing but the pressing necessity for 
Money induced me to trouble you with this 
I am with great respect 

Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Qay. 

'Savannah 23d April 1783. 
Dear Sir 

The unfortunate difference which has Subsisted 
between Great Britian & America for some years, put a 


Stop to a correspondence and intercourse which had sub- 
sisted between your Father & myself, and between him 
& myself & Mr. Joseph Habersham under the firm of 
Joseph Clay & Co. & which the present flattering pros- 
pect of a permanent peace aiifords an Opportunity of 
renewing; during the course of our business we became 
indebted to your Father in a very considerable sum, for 
Negro's sold on his Acco't, & for Goods ship'd us by him, 
which Ballance we shoud have discharged Years ago had 
not G. Britain plung'd us forcibly into a War with her — how 
soon we shall now be able to discharge it, 'tis not in our 
power to say, I can only assure you nothing on our part 
shall be wanting, but this will not rely on ourselves alone, 
it must depend in a great measure on many others who are 
largely indebted to us, and who in General have been very 
great sufferrers by the War — however I am hopefull 'twill 
not be long before we may begin to lessen our Debt, tho' I 
must own my prospects are not very sanguine at present, 
the very heavy expences every one will be at this Year 
in repairing old buildings, building new ones, where the 
old have been burnt or destroyed, and setling their planta- 
tion a new (for by far the larger part of the planters quit 
this State w'hen the British Troops came into it) I say 
these Circumstances will put it out of their power to do 
much towards the discharging of their debts untill the 
Crop after the Coming one, & of course but little will be 
in our power before that time aware of what might & has 
taken place (being drove from our Country for a time) in 
March 1778, I pressed your Brother in Law Mr. Ralp 
Izard to put us in some way that we might be discharging 
the Ballance due your fathers Estate, pointed out to him 
what mig'ht be our probable future situation, & how much 
it was the Interest of the Estate, to enable us to discharge 
our debt by every possible means, proposed to remit the 
Money to Carolina, to invest it in Land, or do any thing 
else in our power that he cou'd propose, since we got 
peccable possession of our Country I have been at him on 


the same score, proposing to dispose of Lands to him to be 
discounted in part of our debt this Country is setling again 
with great rapidity and the fertility of the Soil, the many 
natural advantages it possesses, will introduce so extensive 
a trade as must make Lands valuable if you choose to 
invest a sum in this way — I coud accommodate you with 
two or three Tracts, perhaps more, which woud be doing 
you no injury, & putting it in our power to discharge our 
debt the sooner — Mr. Habersham has not yet returned to 
this Country — I expect him Daily with his Family. I am 
sure twill be his wish to do every thing in his power to dis- 
charge our debt as soon as possible I do not know whether 
you are concerned or propose to be concerned in a com- 
mercial line, if you or any of your friends are, I shou'd 
be very happy to execute your or their Commands, Mer- 
cantile business has been the employ of my life, & every 
kind of business that has heretofore or can be carried on 
in this Country I have a thorough knowledge of, which I 
mean to avail myself of by every exertion in my power, in 
Order to make up for loss time & discharge as quick as 
possible all my former Contracts, any services in my power 
you may freely command — twill afford me pleasure to be 
able to render them — I am not sure whether I have a State 
of our Accounts, if I have, they are with my Books & 
papers that I sent to the N'ward for safety while this Coun- 
try was the Seat of War, from whence I have not yet 
received them — I expect them with Mr. Habersham shoud 
they not be with them I must trouble you for a Copy of 
them I have only to add that I am with respect 

DV Sir Your most Obed't 
Hon'ble Serv't 
Mr. Benjamin Stead J. Clay 



Savannah the 17th Jany 1783 

Dear Sir, 

I received yours of Yesterdays date informing me that 
my resignation as D. P. M. G. to the Southern Army was 
accepted in all matters, but the Settlement of my Accounts, 
8z that I am desired by the Hon're Robert Morris Esq'r to 
repair to Phil'a as soon as possible to bring them to an 
Early close, as they cannot be brought to a Settlement 
in any other way — I have ever been desirous of having my 
Accounts setled & have very often complained that no mode 
was established by which they might be frequently by Audi- 
tor and setled, it has been my constant request for Years 
past, as reference to my Letters to the Pay Master General, 
Treasury Board, &c will testify, several Months ago Mr. 
Pierce wrote me in Answer to one of mine on the Subject 
that the Financier had assured him that an Auditor wou'd 
very shortly be appointed, for the purpose of setling the 
Acco'ts of what he termed the great Departments in the 
Southern States — with this I rested satisfyed — all my 
Accounts except those relative to the business, I transacted 
when last in No. Car'a & a very few other matters of little 
consequence have been transmitted to the Pay Office from 
the time I entered in the Office to the Period I just men- 
tioned — & those since that Period I slioud likewise have 
transmitted had not Mr. Pierce have given me reason to 
suppose I shou'd soon have it in my Power to setle them 
here & of course the transmitting them to Philada wou'd 
be needless — No one can be more desirous to have their 
Acco'ts setled, than I am — ^but to be under the necessity 
of going to Phil'a for that purpose is a request I can by 
no means think reasonable, even if my Expences were 
allowed, — if when I accepted the appointment I had been 
inform'd that 'twou'd be expected that I went to Phil'a 
to setle my Accounts, I might have chose whether I wou'd 
have taken it, or not, & if under this information I had 
accepted it I shou'd not at this time have had any right 
to have com'plained of such a requisition as a hardship — 


but so far from it, nothing of the kind was ever hinted, if it 
had I shou'd most certainly have declined the Appoint- 
ment at present w^ere my inclinations to go to Phil'a ever 
so great, I cou'd not accomplish it, the want of Money 
alone wou'd be a sufficient Bar, nor in my opinion, can it 
with any degree of Justice be expected that the Public 
Officers of the United States who reside at so great a distance 
from Phil'a as they who live in this part of the Continent 
do can be expected under any circumstances to undertake 
so long a Journey untill ample Provision is made for them, 
both to defray their necessary expences in going there, as 
well as a recompence for their trouble & loss of time in so 
doing — I may not be a competent Judge, but in my opinion, 
substantial Justice to the United States may as effectually 
be obtained by an Appointment of special Auditors in 
these States as by the respective Officers going to Phil'a 
& at a far less expence, & much more to the convenience 
of the several Officers, many of whom have a right to be 
considered in this respect as tis well known their Offices 
have not been lucrative ones, & therefore they ought not to 
be subjected to any unnecessary hardships on Account of 
having Executed them — ^I can't help beleiving that when 
Mr. Morris comes to reconsider this matter he will see the 
hardship this requisition will lay Public Officers under who 
reside at so great a distance from Congress, in so strong 
a light, as to induce him to appoint proper Auditor to setle 
w'th the several Officers in the respective States they 
received their Appointments, and I am sure Sir You must 
see this matter in such a View, that I need not Say any 
thing to Urge the favour of you to Use your Interest that 
so reasonable a request may be complied with — at least so 
far as respects the past — and am with very great regard & 
esteem Dr Sir — 

Your most Obed't humbl Serv't 
The Hon'le Nath'l Greene Esq'r J. C. 

Major General 


Savannah the 24th Jany 1783 
John Wright Stanley Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

Your favour of the 22nd Ulto I duly rec'd a few days 
ago, covering a copy of Commodore Gillons letter of agency 
to you, relative to the Ship of War S. Carolina Cap't John 
Joyner, also a power from you to me relative to said vessel, 
empowering me to act in your stead, shou'd that Ship send 
any Prizes into this State (& Mr. J, S. Cripps not be within 
the same) & have only to assure you should Capt. Joyner 
send any of his prizes in here you may depend on my doing 
the needful & on the terms you propose. I shall also take 
care to give you the earliest notice of any matter relative to 
said concern worthy of your attention, as yet we have not 
heard anything of her. 

In regard to our Trade particularly our W. India trade, 
our situation gives us every natural advantage, the many 
convenient ports for shipping, their contiguity to all the 
Islands, & the many valuable articles afforded by this 
Country, all bespeak that branch of trade as one that must 
be profitable to adventurers & greatly beneficial to the 
State ; at present it is not in our power to avail ourselves 
of them to so much advantage as we might wish, the rav- 
aged situation we found our Country in the absence of many 
of our most valuable inhabitants & their slaves, the as 
yet convulsed state of our Government, all have & still do 
operate in some measure against us, but our prospects are 
brightening every day — our old inhabitants are daily coming 
in & new ones increase very fast, & I expect this Session 
of Assembly we shall open our Land office, which will 
bring vast numbers of Settlers into our back Country add 
to which we are hopefull of obtaining a large cession from 
the Indians of very valuable land on the Okonees & Okmul- 
gees : a Congress is proposed with them for the purpose of 
opening the business in March next. 

We have already commenced a Trade to the Havanna, I 
am now concerned in trading two armed vessels for that Port 


•belonging to Messrs Coppinger & Seagrove & one of them 
I believe partly to Mr. Constable of Philadelphia, they will 
both sail in consort in five or six days loaded with Rice, 
Tallow, Butter &c Beef & Pork particularly the latter will 
be a considerable article with us, but our Stocks are at 
present so much diminished by the long continuance of the 
enemy in our Country, that little can be expected before 
another Crop comes round, The consumption of W. India 
Produce is even at present considering our situation consid- 
erable, but in future we may expect it greatly to increase — 
at present our markett is tolerably supplyed tho' should not 
any quantity drop in shortly it will very soon be otherways 
— we have a large quantity of sugar on hand & no inconsid- 
erable one of rum, this last article is in demand & I expect 
as is usual after a Glut the former one will be so very soon, 
the price is better with us at present than in Cha's town, 
we have as yet no duties imposed on any commodities, but 
I expect before the house breaks up that the duties recom- 
mended by Congress & perhaps a small transient duty may 
be imposed, both of these are very contrary to the Ideas of 
many among us, but the necessity of supporting the Union 
& enabling Congress to maintain their & our consequence 
impel us to submit. Has your State acceded to this recom- 

You desire me to lay out the money you lent our State 
in a confiscated estate, but before I can well do that I 
would wish to know your Ideas on that business generally, 
that is, whether you would wish to have a settled or an 
unsettled tract of land, or a tract on the Sea Coast, or 
rather in the low country, or back parts of the State. 
Possibly I might succeed in either of these plans, if I knew 
which you would prefer. A very large proportion of these 
estates are sold, but there are man}^ of the purchasers 
willing to dispose of them again. I believe there were not 
a few, who had an idea when they purchased, that some 
kind of paper currency would have been emitted on the 
faith of these estates, & looked forward to a depreciation 


to enable them to pay for them, they now begin to loose 
all hopes of any such measure being adopted, and there- 
fore many of them are desirous of getting rid of their pur- 
chases. If you have no idea of settling any tract that 
might be purchased immediately, an unsettled tract would 
suit you better than a settled one, because any improve- 
ments that might be on them would only enhance the 
value without any advantage to you, as the improvements 
would be totally lost or destroyed before you could make 
any use of them. Our tide swamps that were improved 
have sold as high i22..0..0 sterling ^ acre and hardly any 
lower than £12 & £16 & some unimproved tracts have sold 
upwards of £12. I could procure you just now a tract to 
the S'ward (say about 40 miles) in a good settlement 
adjoining a very valuable settlement of one Robt. Baillie 
(lately dead) at not exceeding 60s ^ acre which from the 
description I have heard of it is a very valuable one & 
would most undoubtedly realize your money with a great 
prospect of gain. I know also of some very rich Indico 
lands on or near the Salts, which could be purchased tole- 
rably reasonable. The tract adjoining Mr. Baillie's con- 
tains 700 acres and is reckoned as good as any of his which 
was always rated at 90s ^ acre in peaceable times, 'tis 
principally rice land & at the head of the swamp. Our 
assembly have not as yet taken up the making provisions 
for any loans to the State, but probably before we break 
up it will be done, tho' we have so many matters to attend 
to that we hardly know which to take up first, but I have 
no doubt that the loan certificates will all be received in 
payment for confiscated property, allowing for the depre- 
ciation of the money at the time the several sums were 
respectively paid into the Treasury, so as to make them 
equal to specie — ^At foot of this you have the prices cur- 
rent — If Danish bottoms or any neutral ones could be 
obtained, they would give very fair prospects of great voy- 
ages from this to the Islands ; I should suppose it very 
practicable; Lumber, rice & naval stores may be procured 


in any quantities — Spars & masts of all sorts, some flour 
& tobacco : the former will be scarce & too dear for expor- 
tation, & the latter I presume would not yield a great profit. 
My best respects to Mr. & Mrs. Cogdell & family, your 
brother & lady & my Newbern friends in general & believe 
me to be with great regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most obed't serv't 

Joseph Qay. 

An idea of peace taking place this Spring prevails with 
many & in some degree fetters our Commercial plans. 
What is your opinion on this business. 

Jno, Wright Stanley Esq'r 

Savannah 20th Jan'y 1783. 
Mr James Green, Newbern 
Dear Sir, 

Since my last to you I rec'd a triplicate of yours 7th 
October last. During the time I was gone from this to 
bring my family from Camden, Capt. Kelly sent a prize in 
here & the Prize-master being informed I was not here 
deliv'd his letters to the Gentlemen I am connected with 
in some business, who on Mr. Ogden's application to them 
& informing them he was a part-owner of the privateer, 
they gave them up to him & he did the necessary business 
I dare say full as much to your advantage as I cou'd have 

Capt. Kelly was in this Port when I returned, I was 
much hurried just then, getting my family settled & withal 
very unwell, or I should have wrote you by him — We 
have nothing new here of any consequence. Our Assembly 
is now sitting & deeply engaged in many important mat- 
ters. The long time the enemy were in this country so 
deranged our Police, that we have every thing to settle 


anew. My best respects to Mrs. Green, your brother & 
lady, to all of whom Mrs. Clay desires to join me — ^ this 
conveyance I shall write your Mr. J. W. Stanley fully in 
answer to one of his of the 22nd Ulto & have only to assure 
that I am with great regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most obed't serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah Feb'y 8th 1783. 
Mr Cornelius Coppinger, Havannah 
Dear Sir 

You will be surprized to notice the date of my letter 
to find your Brigs still here, but a variety of circumstances 
have occurred to detain them. Poole has been loaded 
upwards of three weeks & Gifford some Days but the want 
of hands contrary winds &c, has kept them both here. We 
were exceedingly put to it to supply them with cash, their 
wants for sailors & provisions being beyond our expecta- 
tions. However we rubb'd through tolerably well. The 
Brig Nancy will follow directly, she has had her cargo as 
fast as she cou'd take it, I believe they have not had an 
idle moment since the Capt . & people went on board : her 
cargo will be very near your directions. The next oppor- 
tunity will give you the particulars, — she will stow away 
as much as we expected — By the time Hog's schooner 
returned from Carolina we had the remainder of the two 
Brigs cargo on board or on the wharf. Banks's brig & 
cargo were condemned ; we got of that cargo above 200 
barrels which gave us a great push. We sent Sheftal's 
sloop to Carolina where she loaded & on her return here 
was chased into a creek on St. Helena island, by some of 
the Enemy's boats, where she still remains. However 
we hope to be on a better footing. We have one Galley 
that carrys 4, 9 pound cannonades, some swivels, two Prow 
guns (not so large as we could wish) & soon hope to have 


another, and our Assembly which is still sitting have 
directed a fort to be built immediately on Cockspur & a 
proper command to be kept there. This will be a security 
to our trade. 

Dr. Lyman Hall whom you have heard Mr. Howley 
speak of was chosen our Governor. A Mr. Telfair was in 
opposition to him but the majority was large in favor of 
the former, he is a New Englander by birth & a firm Whig 
& I believe will suit our present situation. Flags are not 
so common as they used to be & I believe will still decline. 
He proposes writing your Governor & I beleive you also 
relative to a supply of cannon & ammunition & we have 
promised him to get you to ship on our account 2 or 4 
eighteen or 24 pound cannon & one of Ton of Gun powder 
also some shott to suit the guns. I beleive he may proba- 
bly write the Gov'r relative to our neighbours, they are 
at present very quiet but I am apprehensive if a peace 
should not be agreed on this Spring that either Ave must 
cut them out work, or they will us. We had very violent 
struggles in the present house of Asembly but they have 
all preponderated as we would wish, so far as our circum- 
stances permitted. The seats of 4 or 5 men who had taken 
protection under the British Gov't were declared vacant 
from their not having been long enough under an American 
Gov't to make them eligible to so important a trust.* Tho' 

• An explanation of this hastily made statement will help the reader 
to a proper understanding of the matter. The constitution of 1777 required 
that no one could serve as a member of the Legislature who had not resided 
in the State twelve months and in his County three months. Certain persons 
had been elected to that term of the Legislature who had, for various reasons, 
been within the British lint-s until shortly before it met. AmonK them were 
William Maxwell, Thomas Netherclift, Nathaniel Adams and William Bryan. 
A question arose as to whether they were eligible, as they had resided within 
the lines of the enemy. Mr. Adams resigned, but the others were, by a vote 
of 19 to 12, declared ineligible on the ground only that they had been outside 
of the American lines. The facts in regard to three of those gentlemen are 
not known, but the case of Mr. Maxwell may be fully explained. He had 
been active in opposition to the British; had been one of the "Trustees for 
taking into their custody and management the British forfeited estates," and 
a privateersman commanding his own armed vessel, recovering property 
taken by the British, and attacking parties of the enemy engaged in collecting 
forage and provisions for the royal troops in Savannah. He was arrested 
by the British, taken to Savannah, tried for "treasonable practices" and 
convicted, in 17S0, fined £300 and put under bond to keep the peace, being 
forced to remain in the enemy's lines until the evacuation of Savannah, 
July 11, 17S2. He considered the decision of the Legislature very arbitrarj', 
and, on his election again at the next session as a member of that body. 

Sir James Wright is authority for the statement of the arrest and fining 
of William Maxwell. 


I gave the Collector directions relative to the naming of 
Gifford's brig as did Maj'r Cuthbert (who returned the 
day after you left Savannah) yet Capt. Gifford got his 
commission sale the other papers through in the name of 
the Blacksloves & we did not know whether the expence 
of new papers would be material for the sake of altering 
the name, & Gifford's inclination was very strong in favour 
of the present one which he says Mr, Seagrove had con- 
sented to before he left the Havanna — the Cannon and 
Ammunition mentioned in the foregoing is only to be 
Shipped under Circumstances of which shall write par- 
ticularly — ^^herewith you'll receive a Letter from Mr. J. 
McQueen w'ch reached this a few Days after you left this I 
hope will find you w'th your family & that they are all 
well — Mrs. Clay & Family all desire to be very kindly 
remembered to you as well as to your Lady (tho' unknown — 
I am w'th great respect 

D'r Sir Your M't Ob't & humble S't 

J. C. 

Mr, Howley writes you ^ this Opportunity all the 
Gentlemen of your acquaintance present their Compli- 
ments to you. Capt. Poole is every thing you describe him 
to be — & I am sure Gififord is an Active brave Fellow^ — tho 
during the War he will probably always be fonder of Cruis- 
ing after the Enemy than being in the Merchant Service. 
18th Feb'y extreme bad Weather & head Winds still detains 
the Brigs — we have had a long spell of unsetled dirty 
Weather — they are over all the Banks & past the 
Wrecks without touching the Ground & only wait 
a Gale to Waft them to their Desired Port — ^our 
House of Asembly breaks up to Day — it has confined 
me so close that I write this at 4 in the Morning — 
nothing new J. C. 


Savannah Feb'y 17th 1783 
Mr, James Seagrove Merit Havanna 
D'r Sir 

Contrary winds & bad weather has detained the Brigs. 
I have this day been conversing with our Gov'r relative 
to some public matters he was writing to your Gov'r on 
among others respecting some cannon & ammunition ; he 
has an idea that probably some of these may be ordered 
out of your public stores to be sent here; but to guard 
against any failure he has requested me to write to you 
on the business — that is if you find there is no probability 
of obtaining any in that way, that you will send four good 
iron cannon 15 or 24 pounders & one ton of gun-powder; 
% Ton of which to be cannon & ^ Ton muskett powder. 
The heaviest metal will suit best. If all four cannot be 
sent at one time, let 2 come ^ the first conveyance & 2 
^ the next that offers: more ammunition will be wanted, 
but the quantity now ordered is as much as he would 
choose to have in one bottom, He has wrote Mr. Coppinger 
pretty fully, so that if he is returned you will receive the 
necessary information through him, but if that should not 
be the case I must request your attention to the matter 
so that we may receive the cannon & Gun-powder from 
you should the channel I mentioned fail which I am of 
opinion it will & more especially if Mr. Coppinger should 
not be returned. I have wrote Mr. Coppinger a line on 
the same subject — I shall hold myself accountable to you 
for the Cannon & Gun Powder & all Expences attending 
the same and am with regard — D'r Sir Yrs 

Feb'y 5th 1783. 
Mr. James Seagrove 
Dr Sir 

Your favour of the 1st Nov'r last ^ Capt. Gifford & 
Poole afforded me great Satisfaction a return to our own 


Country was the utmost of our Wishes & though 'twas 
to a desolated & ruin'd one yet the Idea of having so far 
prevailed against an Enemy that had been by every means 
in her power trying to crush us overbalances every other 
Consideration — a Country like ours will very soon recover 
&■ far exceed her former Situation her natural advantages 
w'th respect to Agriculture & Commerce are so great that 
her increase & rise will be rapid — Our Old Inhabitants are 
daily dropping in & New ones are coming in from all Quar- 
ters — we have just opened our Land Office w'th a view to 
catch & Nurse the present flame & thirst for imigrating to 
this Country — a Col'l Geo'e Matthews, Col'l Roote, Mr. Cobb 
Col'l Lewis & one or two others (w'th some of whom you 
are probably acquainted) have just obtain'd a Reserve of 
Land on purchase on purpose to remove in the coming 
Winter w'th a sufficient Number of Families to make 
respective separate Settlem'ts the No. & So. Car'a are like- 
wise Endeavouring to push in among us, all these things 
present to us the most pleasing future prospects — nothing 
but another invasion (w'ch I am of opinion we need not 
be very apprehensive of) can damp them. 

Our S. J. C & Co. have been particular w'th you rela- 
tive to our Commercial matters to whom must refer you — 
Mr. Coppenger I hope is with you before this — he will 
advise you with the mode he arranged his & your concerns 
here the information you had received w'th respect to the 
Prices of Negro's here was by no means the Case governm 
in So. Car'a in the Year 1782 sold a few of the Confiscated 
Negro's for Cash to supply immediate wants who from the 
Scarcity of Cash sold exceeding low — the Vast Number 
lost in these two States by the War & carried out of them 
have made them exceeding scarce & in demand, from 
70 to 100 G's is a very common Price ; unless it is by now 
& then purchasing 2 or 3 from some or others whose neces- 
sitys oblige them to sell they are not to be met w'th on any 
terms — those whose Propertys were Confiscated in gen- 
eral took their Slaves away w'th them ; one or two small 


parcels were Captured & brought in here before your 
Letters came to hand, w'ch might have been purchased 
reasonable, but such Circumstances may not happen again 
during the War — 

An Agent for the purposes of protecting & executing 
our business at foreign Ports has not as yet been taken 
into consideration, indeed so many matters of present 
necessity 'have continually pressed our House that their 
attention has been constantly drawn to other matters this 
business will in my opinion soon naturally force itself & 
you may be assured when this happens we shall attend 
to it — the Brig Mr. Coppenger gave directions about 2-3 
loaded & the remainder of her Cargo is along side or on 
the Wharf — she may Sail in about 10 Day's (Wind & 
Weather Permitting) at farthest — 

You have ^ this Conveyance the Prices of Lumber 
here & the mode of Measuring compared w'th the W. 
India Measurement — this will be a very profitable branch 
of business in conjunction w'th Provisions & Stock &c — 
you may not Probably heard of the Arrangement for this 
Year in So. Car'a — the following is in part — Mr. Benj. 
Guerard Gov'r our old Friend Beresford Lieut Gov'r Mr. 
J. S. Dart Clerk of the Assembly — Hugh Rutledge Speaker 
— & Jno Vanderhorst Secretary — the other Officers I have 
not yet learnt Parties run very high there the back Country 
Interest prevails, the Rutledges & Gadsden oppose each 
other — God grant a Coalition soon take place & the only 
strife be who shall serve their Country — We have nothing 
New — your part of the World 'tis thought will be the 
theatre of War this Year — & Jamaica the grand object — 
shoud you send any Vessel this way immediately a load 
or two of Rice may be o'btained w'th dispatch — ^we shall 
in all probability have a considerable Quantity in Stock 
looking forward to such an Event — I have only to assure 

you that I am w'th great regards 

D'r Sir 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Savannah Feb'y 19th 1783, 
(To Col'l Gremke) 
Dear Sir 

We have very little news, From Augustine a flag 
brings an account that some persons had arrived there 
from a port abroad, I believe Teneriffe, who says they had 
an acco't there from London of the 6th & 7th of 
last Dec'r that preliminaries for a general peace was con- 
cluded on. How far this may be true can only be con- 
jectured. I am with regard 
D Sir 

Your most obed't serv't 

Joseph Qay 

Savannah 23d Feb'y 1783, 
Dear Sir 

^ Major Habersham I received your of the 1st Inst, 
relative to a debt due to your brother from Mr. Graham's 
estate, which is as you observe confiscated. I have agre- 
able to your desire entered your claim with the Commis-^ 
sioners, but the most speedy way of obtaining payment 
would be by commencing a suit against the State as that 
will bring it to an issue at once. To enable me to do this 
for you it would be necessary that you send a power of 
attorney or at least the bond our Law has not made any 
particular provision for the discharge of debts due from the 
estates confiscated to individuals, but only generally made 
them liable. The estates have been sold on a long credit 
the real estate 7 years, the personal four years, paying 
interest annually. Very little personal estate was left in 
the country belonging to those persons. Those who pur- 
chased at the Sales can discount, but those who have no, 
the Legislature have not as yet made any provision for^ 
but I presume at their next meeting they will. 


I have only to assure you any services in my power 
you may freely command & am vvrith respect 
D'r Sir 

Your most obed't serv't 

Joseph Clay 
Wm. Blake Esq'r 

Savannah the 28th Feb'y 1783. 
Dear Sir 

I receiv'd your favour of the 6th Inst too late to pre- 
vent the sale of the lands, however I am hopeful no material 
injury will accrue as I think our Assembly will not 
countenance the disposal of young Mr. Stead's part of 
the land & as to yours & Miss Stead's they are out of the 
question, yours as a Citizen of the United States & Miss 
Stead's as a lady & consequently no party in the present 
war — Our Assembly meet next May at Augusta, by which 
time you had best have a memorial ready, which I will take 
care to get presented, & I have no doubt it will terminate 
to your satisfaction. It should be on behalf of all the 
claimants & setting forth young Mr. Stead's minority during 
greater part of this war & the difficulties that have pre- 
vented his coming to his native country America, 
as well as his Fathers (during his life) well known 
attachment to our cause. Or you might go on another 
ground. That is, as you are intitled to such a proportion 
of the real & personal estate of Mr. Stead, the confiscating 
any of it in America will only injure you, as 'tis more than 
probable as a large property belonging to the estate is in 
•Great Britain, so much of it as may be equal to the property 
confiscated here may be by way of compensation retained 
there. If I had been in the way when the land was sold 
I would have bought it, but I knew nothing of it till after 
the sale. The land will be planted this year or a consid- 
erable part of it which will be no injury & the buildings 


that are left will be preserved. I have spoke to the person 
who has it in possession & informed him of the circum- 
stances relative to it & proposed the giving the purchase 
up to me, which I rather think would have been done, if 
it had not been the desire of planting it this year, it is in 
a secure place from marauders or robbers by sea or land, 
which in these times is a very desirable situation In a 
former letter you desire me to inform you the situation of 
Mr. Stead's concerns in this State. .This is a matter not 
in my power. Rae & Sommerville were largely indebted 
to Mr. Stead against whom I commenced a suit & obtained 
a verdict for him in April 1775 for i4528..0..0 our money, 
no part of which was ever received, owing to the present 
war so immediately succeeding. The House of Rae, Ebert 
& Grham I beleive are indebted largely. This House has 
been greatly ruined by the present war, but I should sup- 
pose in time they will be able to pay all their debts. But it 
will take time to recover & work hard too, before those 
who have been in trade in this State can get the least 
a-head. A Mr. Graham partner of R. E. & G. went off from 
the Indian nation with a large property belonging to that 
House for Pensacola early in 1776, where he traded for sev- 
eral years as I have been inform'd with great success, 
whether he has paid any part of the Company's debts you 
may perhaps be informed, but if he did I rather think it was 
to Telfair's House to whom the house of R. E, & G. were 
also indebted. Our House is also very largely indebted 
to Mr. Stead's estate & which it is not our faults that is 
was not greatly lessened long ago, as I early in the present 
war made you a proposition to that purpose predicting 
at that time what has really happened, drove out of our 
country, our property wasted & ourselves thereby ren- 
dered unable to discharge our debts. Both Mr. Habersham 
& myself have been unfortunate in this respect to a great 
degree. He is not yet returned to this State I expect he 
will be here in about two months at farthest. I am doing 
every thing in my power to retrieve my circumstances & 


putt myself in a condition to do justice to every one, 
whether I shall even have it in my power fully to do so, 
time only can shew. If peace takes place soon & I have 
health & success I hope I shall. I can only say nothing on 
my part shall be wanting. To shew you how desirous I 
am to make a beginning towards this business, I mean 
now to make you another offer & that the only one that is 
now or can be in my power for a considerable time to come — 
that is to sell you some land, I ^have a number of tracts 
which I mean to appropriate to that purpose & I think 
without any view to my own interest I could as a friend 
recommend as a measure that would promote the interests 
of Mr. Stead's House. All British debts are sequestered 
under a law passed in this State last May, it has not yet 
been carried into execution & I trust if the war does not 
continue long it never will. But to guard against this I 
should expect that you would secure me against any dam- 
age that should or may arise on that score. The following 
are tracts I would dispose of. 

Nine hundred acres in three tracts adjoining each 
other; rice & provision lands, in St. Andrew's parish 
(adjoining St. John's the parish Mr. Stead's land is in) 
about 35 or 40 miles from Savannah, about 8 miles from 
a good landing. Part of this land was run in 1759. All 
of it belonged to a Mr. Andrew an old inhabitant of this 
country & of whom I bought it some years ago, this is 
worth 50s ^ acre. 500 acres on the confluence of great 
Ogeeche & Canooche rivers in tide way, about 300 acres 
of which is tide swamps adjoining Gov'r Wright's planta- 
tions. This I have been offered near 10 G's ^ Acre for on 
a long credit & paying interest. If you choose to have 
it I will be as reasonable with you as possible from a desire 
to lessen my debts. I have also two tracts of 500 acres 
each, on great Ogeeche river the So. side about 40 miles 
from Savannah very valuable ones which I would dispose 
of to you for under their value. I would let them go at 
Yi G's ^ acre. I have two tracts near Augusta one of 


500 & the other of 300 acres. The former is a very good 
one about three miles from the river on what is called the 
Keokas & about 16 miles from Augusta in a well settled 
part of the country. I have some other tracts which I would 
sell from no other cause but an anxiety to discharge my 
debts as fast as possible. I should be very glad to know 
your ideas on this business if they meet mine I will do 
every thing in my power to throw as large a property into 
5^our hands as in my power & on as equitable conditions 
as you can expect & I have no doubt Mr. Habersham will 
do the same as far as his circumstances will permit. You 
will please notice we have not nor can have any other mode 
of paying for a very considerable time to come. No debts 
due from a citizen of this State can be sued for in less than 
two years from this : Our legislature considering & that 
very properly that men drove from their country for 
several years, their estates ruined & every kind of distress 
befell them, were in no condition to pay debts however 
willing they might be, & if the law was left to operate 
against them it could answer no other purpose but lay 
them open to be completely ruined & thereby become a 
burthen to their country. All the property of the dis- 
affected that has been sold (many of whom are largely 
indebted to the merchant) is on seven years credit so that 
nothing can be expected from that quarter in any reason- 
able time, so that the mode I have proposed is the only 
one that can exist for some time & it is in my opinion a very 
eligible one. The vast increase of inhabitants now daily 
taking place in this country, the valuableness of our lands, 
its many natural advantages, all bespeak it is a very 
rising country & of course landed property must & will 
be an increasing one. I have only to assure you any ser- 
vices in my power, you may freely command I am 
Dr Sir 

Your most obed't serv't 

Joseph Clay. 


Savannah March the 29th 1783 
Dear Sir 

Thoug-h unknown to 3''ou yet from a knowledge of 
your character I have taken the liberty to send my son 
(who I expect will be the bearer of this) to your colledge, 
in hopes of your admitting him there & of his participating 
in those advantages which your instructions must afford to 
any youth who is desirous of & willing to avail himself of 
them. Tho' partiality to the one in question as my son 
naturally leads me to a byas in his favor, yet I flatter myself 
I do not say an untruth when I assure you I beleive you will 
find that this is his disposition, and that he wishes to inform 
himself by every means in his power, with every thing that 
may tend to promote his future interest, or make him a 
useful member of society. It was my intention to have 
sent him to you 3 or 4 years ago, but the distresses of war 
have prevented. When the enemy quitted this country 
& restored it thereby to its proper owners, I had been an 
exile, or rather refugee, from it with my family & that 
a large one, near four years. This situation so deranged 
my affairs & Straitened my circumstances, as well as kept 
my mind in such a perturbed state, as to preclude every 
thing that tended to domestic concerns, or to do that to 
promote the education & future benefit of my children 
that I wished. 

My son was part of the year 1780 & 1781 with Mr. 
Smith of Virginia, Brother I believe to your son in Law, 
to this gentleman I owe the greatest obligation for his 
very tender & polite behaviour towards him. Since that 
time he has been principally to the S'ward & with out any 
opportunity of improving himself. His inclination as he 
informs me leads him to the study of the law, to which 
end as he is so far advanced in years I have prevailed on a 
friend to article him as a clerk before he left this, that in 
case he may choose, or it may become necessary for him 
in order to support himself, which idea I would wish to 
inculcate, he may not be under the necessity of throwing 


away 5 Years of the prime of his life, the term prepos- 
terously prescribed by law, to serve in that character before 
they can be admitted to the bar. This I obtained as a 
favour from a friend & from a knowledge that his situation 
at present was not from choice but from necessity. I have 
been so much separated from him latterly that I am but 
imperfectly acquainted with the progress he has made in 
his education. I beleive you will find he has a tolerable 
knowledge of the Latin, some idea of Greek, & has paid 
some little attention to the mathematics & natural phil- 
osophy. The great loss of time he has suffered makes it 
necessary for him to exert himself & to retrieve it by every 
means in his power. I have no doubt you will from the 
same consideration put him in such a course as will best 
enable him to attain that end. I care not how learned 
he is, but the great object I would wish his education to 
point to, is the making a useful member of society either 
in a private or public station ; in Republics it may be every 
man's lot to be called to the latter and it therefore becomes 
now our indispensable duty to bring up our youth undep 
those ideas. I have relying on his prudence made him 
master of his finances, I have frequently had occasion to 
try him & I think shall not have reason to repent it, indeed 
they are too scanty for him to be extravagant, tho' I hope 
sufficient to answer all necessary purposes and I shall take 
care to remit him as regularly as the situation of the times 
will permit. I do not mean or wish to hurry him in his 
studies more than his advanced years make necessary. My 
present intentions are for him to remain at colledge as 
long as you may judge necessary & his inclination may 

As he is an entire stranger in your part of the country 
& will on that account be deprived of the advantage a 
friend might be to him, in directing him in his connections 
& superintending his morals when abroad, I must take a 
liberty I have no right to assume, that is to request the 
favour of you to give him your countenance & advice gen- 


erally, I mean in all such matters as may not properly belong 
to his education, but at the same time be absolutely neces- 
sary for his welfare. I will not urge you on this head, as 
perhaps your necessary close attention to business may 
put it out of your power if so possibly you can prevail on 
some of the Gentlemen under you perhaps Mr, Smith, the 
anxiety you can easily suppose I have on this head I am 
sure will plead my excuse with you for taking this liberty. 
I shall wait anxiously to hear of his having reached you 
& I hope at the same time to learn he has met with your 
countenance, and am 

with great respect 
Dr Sir 

Your most obed't hble serv't 

Joseph Clay 
Dr. David Witherspoon 

Savannah April 16. . 1783 
D'r Sir 

I presume before this will get to your hands a general 
peace will have taken place, an event very desireable and 
one that I hope will tend to repair many Breaches which 
the late unhappy War has occasioned, & as such gives me 
leave very sincerely to congratulate you on it — we have 
not rec'd here any Official Accounts in regard to the Busi- 
ness but private Accounts Via — New York, Philadelphia 
St Augustine &c all so generally concur in the matter that 
no doubt remains of the fact Your friends here are in gen- 
eral well — Your Mother enjoys but a very poor State o£ 
health I believe the Situation of her Mind tends greatly to 
disturb it — this is a very natural supposition and I hope, 
under that Idea, that the alteration in the times will tend 
greatly to relieve & of course mend her Health — ^Mr. 
Will'm Gibbons Sen'r plants this Year at Morton Hall, 


with some of his own & I believe the Estate's Hands his 
Wife is near laying in & on that Account stays with her 
Mother at present, I brought my family about 4 Months 
ago since which Mrs. Clay has enjoyed but a very indif- 
ferent State of health, the fatigue of travelling and the 
very great alteration in situation in every respect all con- 
currd to injure it — Mr. & Mrs. Habershams have not yet 
reached this but are hourly expected. 

The very great loss of time together with the great 
destruction as well as loss of property will oblige many 
of us, as it were to begin the World again this will in some 
Measure be my Case for though Idleness cou'd never be 
attributed to me, yet to enable me to discharge all my con- 
tracts, & preserve & increase my fortune, 'twill be neces- 
sary for me to exert myself much more than I once thought, 
I ever shoud have occasion to do again & I am very thank- 
full that I enjoy a degree of health & Spirits sufficient to 
this purpose — I dont know what may be your future plans, 
but if a continuance in Jamacia & commerce shoud be apart 
of it, a very great opening to do business between that 
Island and this Country in my opinion presents itself this 
I dare say strikes you as forcibly as myself, shou'd you be 
of the same opinion with me, & also have an Idea to com- 
merce from that part of the World, I shou'd be very glad 
to concur in promoting a plan of that kind here, either in 
the Commission way or on our joint Account, tho' I shou'd 
prefer the former. I shall lay myself out for that line, & 
my situation here will put it much in my power; shoud you 
not incline to a plan of this kind, if any of your friends 
shoud propose any business here I wou'd be obliged to 
you for your recommendation — on my coming here I was 
concerned w'th Major Cuthbert & Mr. OBryen in pur- 
chasing out Messrs Crookshanks & Spears, & one or two 
large parcels of Goods, w'ch with some other concerns 
turn'd out to advantage but my concern that way was only 
temporary and on the Spurr of the occasion just suited to 
the times — Peace will require more steady pursuits what 


they may be exactly on my own part I have not come to 
any conclusion further than generally to pursue business 
by every means in my power that presents itself on a 
rational plan people are flocking into this Country to Settle 
beyond every Idea — the War has opened a knowledge of 
the Advantages that the So Countries afiford hereafter not 
believed — Major Habersham was married about three 
"w^eeks ago to Miss Nancy Camber a very amiable Young 
Lady — Mrs. Clay & all our family desire very kindly to 
be remembered to Mrs. Hall to whom please make my 
best respects acceptable, and believe me to be with regard 
Dr Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay, 
Nathaniel Hall Esq'r 

Savannah 15th April 1783 

The very agreable prospect of peace taking a place 
directly has induced me to address you, hoping thereby 
to renew a correspondence which the war has so long 
interrupted & I shoud also by this Conveyance have sent 
you your Acc't Curr't & Sales of Rum ^ the Schooner 
Elizabeth Capt. Caldwell had it been in my power but as 
soon as our House found that this Country was likely to 
become the seat of War we sent our Books as far No'therly 
as Maryland, from whence I expect them every day as 
soon after they come to Hand as any safe Conveyance 
ofifers you may expect to receive them & we hope twill 
not be a very long time before we shall be able to remit 
you the Ballance of your account the ravages & distresses 
natural to a country that has been the Seat of War, & in 
which we have bore our full proportion will keep us back- 
ward a little time but I hope not long — I am engaged in 
business again as usual and shall be very happy to receive 
you and any of your friends Command's soon as Trade 


can take place again without interruption which I dare 
Say will be the fall before this will get to your Hands the 
many Articles of product raised in this Country together 
w'th the great Quantities of Naval Stores & Lumber made 
here will very naturall}'- open a very lucrative & beneficial 
Trade between your Island and this Country — the produce 
of your Island will always bring reasonable prices but 
Negro's in my opinion will yield a great profit I shoud 
have no doubt of getting 60 a 70 for good Windward Coast 
Negro Men & for Women or leeward Coast Negr'o in 
proportion & perhaps more provision Articles will be 
scarce before the next crop comes in which will not be till 
late in the fall, Rice may be to be purchased but I expect 
twill be very high all the summer 12/6 Sterl'g ^ 100 lb is 
the present price but I think tis probable it will be higher 
not knowing whether your House subsisted under the old 
form I have directed to them or either of them — Peace has 
not yet been proclaimed here but from the Accounts we 
have received from almost every Quarter we expect hourly 
to receive Official Accounts relative thereto I have only to 
tender you any services in my power and am with respect. 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 
Messrs Scott Dover Taylor & Bell 

Copy Savannah the 22d April 1783 

Original — Via Cha's Town 
Dear Sir — 

Copy of yours of the 14 February came to hand yester- 
day — the Original nor the one of the 4th then Current have 
not yet come to hand, so soon as they doo I shall pay every 
attention necessary — ^^Mr. Wereat is not here at present I 
expect he will be in Town in a few days when I will 
endeavour to do the needfull with him I am much sur- 


prised at his neglect of you while in your City his Character 
here (where he has resided many years) being that of a 
very honest man & punctual in his dealings his inability to 
pay coud have been no excuse for not giving you every 
information in his power — Mr. Parleys debt I believe you 
must give up as lost unless you can find any property 
belonging to him in Antigua — he quit this Country on 
Acco't of his Attachment to the British Government I 
think in 1776 & returned here again when their Troops 
got possession of this State & died I believe sometime in 
1780, & left no visible property — he owed me upwards of 
iSOO Sterling for a debt contracted 13 or 14 Years ago of 
which I never received any part, & tho he confessed a 
Judgement for the debt I never found any property that I 
coud levy on, the Gentleman who did your business, Mr. 
Young, is also dead — Peace has not yet been announced 
here Officially but from the several Acco'ts we have from 
different Quarters we expect Daily we shall be enabled to 
do it — this Circumstance I hope will produce the most 
happy effect to all the continent & more especially to these 
Southern I may add Young rising States — this is already 
hourly feeling the benefits of it the Old Inhabitants are 
constantly coming back & new ones daily adding to our 
Numbers & the many valuable Articles it produces must 
make Trade increase & flourish among us the West India 
Trade must be a great branch, Negro's will also be in 
great demand here — 

Dr Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

J. Clay. 
Geo'e Meade Esq'r 

Savannah 22d April 1783. 
Dear Sir 

I received a line from Mr. Seagrove yesterday in 
which he mentioned you had wrote if so yours must have 
miscarried as I have not had the pleasure of receiving it — 


give me leave to congratulate you on the approaching 
general peace it has come on us of a sudden & rather 
deranged our Commercial concerns for the present — a 
considerable part of the Pattys Sugars are on hand we used 
every means in our pow^er to push them off — East florida 
I find is to be returned to Spain this being the Case a 
Garrison will of course be sent to Augustine, & who must 
be supplied with provisions from some part of this Con- 
tinent this I presume will be by contract which very proba- 
bly you may think worth your attention I coud assist in 
fullfilling of it and shoud have no objection to being con- 
cerned in it with you we could procure Cattle from this 
State & as twill not be long before I shall have a concern 
in a Vessel to and from Philadelphia I shoud be enabled 
to send Flour there on reasonable terms and as to rum 
I have no doubt it might always be bought here very 
reasonable — I only mention these matters as a hint & for 
your information shoud it be necessary dry goods will be 
very low here in three or four Months great Quantitys are 
coming to America & one or two very large Cargoes are 
expected here I hope you have heard of the Brig Nancy's 
arrival & to a good Markett she carried a most excellent 
assorted Cargo — Copys of all her Acco'ts are making out 
to send you Via Cha's Town & will if ready in time go ^ 
this Conveyance — Mr. Howley is very well but he has had 
the misfortune to loose his Youngest child a few days past 
Major Habersham has taken to himself a Wife about a 
Month ago — a Miss Camber who I believe came in from the 
No Ward since you left us — we look hourly for his Brother 
James & Joseph both their and his & my Negro's are come 
in and are all employed in planting I hope when the next 
Crop comes in we shall cut a very different figure & the 
Year after that a few more respectable one — Mrs. Clay and 
family all join in presenting their respects to you I am 
with great regard and respect 

Dear Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 
Cornelius Coppinger Esq'r J. Clay. 


Savannah 23d April 1783 
Orig-inal Via Augustine 

Copy Via — ^Charles Town 

Mr. Joachim Noel Famming- 
Dear Sir — 

The long interruption to our Correspondence by the 
late unhappy War though gloriously ended on the part 
of America I hope is no more and that everything is paving 
the way for mutual communications & friendly 
intercourses — since we saw one another I have gone 
through various scenes the Camp and martial sounds took 
place of every thing else when the Enemy got possession 
of this Country I quit it & was never in it again untill 
American Govern't took place, except in Arms this I was 
frequently — as soon as the British Troops quit this Town 
I came into it & in a very short time after entered 
into business again & have been concerned to a considerable 
Amount, & with Success and I have now all my Family 
with me here once more enjoying Domestic ease which 
had been many years a Stranger to me a Blessing I am 
very thankfull for to that providence who has so wonder- 
fully carried us through this contest — as soon as this 
Country became the seat of War I sent my principall 
Books & papers as far No'therly as Maryland for safety 
from whence I have not yet got them back therefore can- 
not send you a State of your concerns I expect Mr. Wm. 
Mcintosh will be very pressing in a little time he has been 
a great sufferer by the War, & of course will be necessiated 
however I have his Brother the Generals Bond for a very 
considerable Amount which I may probably be able to get 
discounted or at least have every matter Stop'd untill I can 
have your instructions on the Business — I cannot advise 
you what woud best promote your intrest — these lands 
will be very valuable, more especially as this Country will 
setle in Amazing rapidity tis beyond conception the eager- 
ness the people on this Continent discover to setle in 


Georgia, the amazing fertility of our Lands invite 
all who know them, & the War has been the means of 
spreading a very general knowledge of them from having 
Troops continually operating in every part of them upwards 
of 500 Families have come to settle among us in the back 
Country within this 6 months past — ^Trade will expand here 
beyond conception Negro's will be in great demand & will 
bring high prices the best way for you to place your money 
here will be by Commerce as you may thereby do it with 
some profit if you choose this mode I will be concern'd 
with you in any way you please either to dispose of any 
thing you may choose to consign to me on your own 
Account on Commission, or to take a part with you in the 
concern as you may think proper — Dry Goods will answer 
very well Negro's from Africa will do far better, & some- 
thing may be done from the W. Indies particularly the 
french Islands, though I am of opinion more Money may 
be made on Cargo's from here to the Islands, than from 
the Islands — as I am apprehensive the Imports from there 
will far exceed our Consumption however this is only con- 
jecture — the increase of Inhabitants may occasion an 
Expenditure of W. India Commodities I am a Stranger to 
I only mention these matters for your information as I 
conclude you must be anxious to know our Situation here 
its said large Quantitys of goods are coming to America 
particularly So'therly under an Idea of making great profits 
on them if so they will be mistaken & many will be ruined — 
Goods except of particular kinds are by no means scarce 
the War made them obtain high prices — the importations 
into the British Garrisons were very considerable most of 
which remained in this Country I think the very heavy 
Exports made to America must ruin many of the So'thern 
Merchants — folly and ignorance mark'd many of their Steps, 
Strangers who come out now with large Cargo's must 
suffer — they shoud consider how long this Country has 
been the seat of War how much it has been desolated and 
laid Waste & that its Inhabitants are in as it were setting 


again & beginning the World anew — & that very large sums 
are due to the Old Merchants which must be paid as soon 
as possible all these circumstances in my opinion will 
operate most powerfully against Strangers unacquainted 
with the Country shoud you be inclined to send goods to 
this Country let me advise you to be very cautious in the 
business, avoid fine Goods of every kind the following 
Articles there will be a vast demand for, and as they are 
always consuming there will be no great risque of them 
sooner or later Negro Cloth from 12 a 15 ^ Yd Osnabrigs, 
:oarse linnens — Nails a larger Quantity particularly 20d & 5d 
—Hoes w'th round Crests & Welded Eyes 18 a 20/ ^ doz 
good felling Axes a 30/ to 32/ ^ doz hooks & Hinges of 
all Sizes most of those fit for Windows all kinds of Plan- 
tation Tools, Carpenters & Coopers Tools Callicoes of a 
midling Quality handsome Figures Say from 12/ a 25/ or 
30/ ^ Piece printed Linnens and Cottens from 18 to 2/6 ^ 
Yard some Hosiery principally Cotten & thread Hatts 
14/ a 40/ ^ doz some higher but less in Quantity — Blan- 
ketts will be in great demand if large Quantities shoud not 
come out — Manchester goods for summer ware — Medicines 
of the Common Plantation kind — some Broad Cloths par- 
ticularly 6/4 Yorkshire Cloths cost a 4/ to 7/ or 8/ ^ Yd 
& a few fine Cloths say 12/ to 16/ a few fine Goods may 
do but not too many, care must be taking in Shipping, that 
the Articles are not such as Foreigners can afford to Ship 
at a Cheaper rate for Great Britain must remember that 
she will have a great many competitors in her Trade & who 
will be very cordially received in America the french in 
particular will meet (and very deservedly) vv^ith a very 
great partiality in their favour from the Americans — I 
have only mentioned the foregoing as Articles that will 
suit best not as the only ones wanted but as those that 
will probably command the first sale every thing that is 
daily consumed or wanted for Artificers or planters must 
have their day — since I came into this country now I have 
had some concerns with two or three Gentlemen here 


merely for the sake of dividing risques but that was intirely 
temporary while the War lasted tis more than probable I 
shall be intirely alone in future — I find few Men who like 
business as well as myself or that are willing to pay so 
close an application to it & I am not of a disposition at this 
time of life to divide the profits of my labours with any 
one who will not contribute their full proportion also — 
neither of the Mr. Habershams have yet come in with their 
Families — their Negro's are Here and they are daily 
expected possibly my old Partner Mr, Joseph Habersham 
& myself may do something together as we have some large 
Debts to work out, and Collect in — which must be a work 
of time as the planters must have a little time to get forward 
again before much can be expected from them Mr. John 
Habersham (now a Major in the Continental Army) is here 
& was lately married to a Miss Camber who must have 
been too Young for you to remember — I have just dropt 
you this letter for your information my situation heretofore 
and that of the times prevented my being able to write you 
any thing Satisfactory — do let me hear from you relative 
to your Land as soon as possible in the intermin shoud: 
you or any of your friends have any commands here in the 
Mercantile line or other ways you may freely command' 
my services. 

I am &c 

J. Clay 

Bethesda Matters — I received the Rice mentioned is new as. 
well as a further Quantity, I shall write her Ladyship very 
fully by a Vessel that sails from this in a few days have you 
any directions relative to the Orphan House they suffer 
much for want of more attention to them — I have (as a Vol- 
unteer) made Advances, Employed an overseer to take Care 
of the planting business & done every thing in my power 
to keep things together, expecting every day some Person 


wou'd be sent out to take the management of them intirely, 
as neither my business (nor Mr. Jas Habershams who has 
also assisted) will permit either of us to pay the attention 
to them they stand in need of during the time the British 
Troops were in possession of this Country as far as I can 
learn they made nothing — since they left it they have done 
very little more — the plantation was in exceeding bad 
Order, this year they have made only 50 Barrels Rice, there 
is about 20 hands on the plantation many of which are very 
ordinary — I have a power of Attorney from Mr. Glen who 
had one from Lady Huntingdon but I only wish'd to keep 
things togethei- untill some other person was appointed 
I shall only add that I am with respect 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

Savannah 16th February 1784 
James Jackson Esq'r N5 — Igleon Street — London 

I rec'd your favour of the 7th Nov. last ^ the Tartar 
Capt. Coates, & note the contents ; I have as you have been 
informed entered into Copartnership with the Gentlemen 
ment'd in yours, & hold myself responsible in common with 
them, for all contracts made under our respective firms, 
and I have only to assure you, while I hold any Connection 
in the business, nothing on my part shall be neglected 
that can render it mutually beneficial to both you and us 
as to the Indian Trade, I am but little versed in it, but 
\ flatter myself the Gentlemen who are will pay the 
strictest attention to it every other business, natural 
to this Country I hold myself competent to, & 
I think from the extension of our Trade, the great 
increase of our Inhabitants, & the natural advantages of 
our Climate the most flattering prospects are before us — 
the Negro business is a great object with us, both with 


a View to our Interest individually, & the general pros- 
perity of this State & its commerce, it is to the Trade of 
this Country, as the Soul to the Body, & without it no 
House can gain a proper Stability, the Planter will as far 
as in his power sacrifice every thing to attain Negroes, 
& those who have the disposal of them, will always com- 
mand their Crops, which is every thing to a Merchant; 
the prices with us are tempting to the adventurer, until 
importation takes place immediately from the Coast, many 
will be sent in from the W. I. Islands, we have a small 
Cargo on hand from there at this time, but this is not the 
Channell we woud wish to attain them through — tis from 
the Coast only we wish to receive them, & we must 
request your exertions to gain us a share of that business 
it will tend to promote your interest as well as ours. 

Our C. T & Co. write you so fully ^ this Conveyance, 
that I have little to add except to confirm theirs — they 
inclose you a Letter from Messrs Roebuck & Herckle, the 
intention of which is to countermand an Insurance on a Ves- 
sel & Cargo from Jamaica to our port, & to our Address, & 
which is arrived safe — therefore the sooner it gets to hand 
the better — the reason for inclosing it to you, is the Letter 
directing the business, & giving us the Address of those 
Gentlemen is in so blind a hand, that we have our doubts 
whether we have directed it properly, particularly whether 
the Name of Herckle, ought not to be Merckle — the Gentle- 
men who write us are Mess. Jno. & Wm. Coppell of 
Jamaica, & one of the concerned is a Mr. A. Peate of 
London, by this Clue, if we have directed it wrong, you 
may possibly find it out — I have only to add that I am 
w'th respect — 

D'r Sir Your most Obed't Serv't 

J. Clay. 


Savannah 16th Feb'y 1784 
Lady Huntington 

I rec'd yours of the 19th Oct'r last under cover from 
Mr. Roger Smith of Charleston together with an Applica- 
tion from him for Moneys due by me to your Ladyship, all 
of which to me is a Mystery — I received the 102 Blls Rice 
mention'd in yours and upwards of 40 more since my last 
settlement with Mr. Piercy, but so far from any thing being 
due from me, I am very largely in Advance, Joseph Clay & 
Co. (Say Joseph Habersham and myself) furnish'd Mr. 
Piercy with supplies for the use of the Colledge & Orphan 
House, to the Am't of upwards of £200 Sterling, and they 
have paid him in Cash at different times in payment for 
Rice & for the use of the Colledge & Orphan House 
upwards of Five Hundred Pounds, the far larger part of 
which before our Money suffered any depreciation — the 
last Rice rec'd was after our Money depreciated, (it was 
in March 1777 from 123 to 134 for 100,) the Price was in 
that Money 6/ ^ 100, there was little or no export at that 
time owing to the War, which rendered it of little Value, 
to the best of my knowledge there are no other Credits 
due to the Colledge or Orphan House, from me or Partners, 
& as to the Amount of Debits they exceed the sum men- 
tion'd by me, time wou'd not permit me to have a State 
of the Accounts made out by this Conveyance, nor indeed 
shoud I wish to close them untill I hear from Mr. Piercy, 
for fear of any omission it was upwards of seven Years 
that little or no attention coud be given to Accounts, during 
a very large part of which time myself & Family were 
drove about as the operations of the War progressed, 
many of my Books & Papers lost such as I preserved were 
sent above 700 Miles from this Country for safety, under 
such Circumstances it may be possible that I may be mis- 
taken, & therefore on that Account & the very misterious 
appearance of these matters, I woud wish to hear from 
him whether any thing has by any means escaped us that 


ought to have been carried to the Credit of the institution, 
to which end I herewith inclose a Letter for him on the 
subject, which I have left open for your perusal before its 
forwarded to him, as I have no secrets in the business nor 
do I choose that there shou'd be even the appearance of 

When the British Troops quit possession of this 
Country, it did not appear that any person had the man- 
agement of the Orphan House or Colledge property, there 
was a White Man on the plantation, but not in the Char- 
acter of an Overseer, nor was he capable, as he did not 
understand any thing of Planting, finding it in this Situa- 
tion, Mr. James Hab'^rsham & myself, from a regard to 
the Institutions & w'th a wish to promote its Welfare, 
intefered in the business & placed an Overseer over the 
people, 'twas too late to do much in the planting way, 
there was a Crop sowed, but it had been so neglected & 
over run with Grass, that nothing cou'd be expected from it, 
12 Barrels Rice was all that was made for sale, which I 
disposed of they had not sufficient provision for the year, 
part of the Rice was consumed in that way, & I also 
bought Corn for them, as the Cheapest mode of supplying 
them, this Year they have made sufficient to serve them- 
selves, & near 50 Barrels Rice for Markett, tis not all 
clean'd out therefore can't say w'th certainty the exact 
Number, this after paying the Overseer, Cloathing the 
People, furnishing them with Tools &c will leave a Ballance 
in favour of the Plantation, but by no means what ought 
to have been made this Year they may perhaps do better, 
as the Plantation is in better Order for Planting, but unless 
the whole business is in the hands of some persons who 
can devote their time to the undertaking generally, little 
can be expected; for my own part, if I had thought that no 
person woud have appeared before this properly Author- 
ized to take on them the management of the business, I 
shoud hardly have ventured to have interfered at all, as my 
situation in life does not allow me to devote so much time 


to the concern as it requires, nor I believe can Mr. Haber- 
sham, all we attempted was to keep the property together, 
& to as much advantage as possible, until your Ladyship 
shou'd send out some person to manage for you, which we 
apprehended wou'd be the Case, as soon as you were 
informed your former Attorneys had left this Country, & 
under this expectation we defferred writing to you I wrote 
Mr. Piercy sometime ago informing how matters were 
situated which I presume he communicated to your Lady- 
ship Inclosed is a list of the Negroes now on the plantation 
Si at the Orphan House, many of them are Elderly & in 
general from what I can learn, they are but a very indif- 
ferrent set of hands for labour — & they are too few to be 
profitable, the expences of a plantation with that Number 
of hands being nearly equal to one with twice as many 
soon after we got possession of this Country a Privateer 
intercepted a Vessel bound to St. Augustine, with a Num- 
ber of Negroes on board, which some Persons had decoyed 
from this State, and were carrying them, among whom was 
a Wench & two Children belonging to the Orphan House, 
which I claimed & recovered on paying near £16 Sterling 
as a Salvage — in regard to the Debts in the list inclosed me, 
I can say but little — 'Mr. Read left this Country with the 
British Troops, Mrs, Crooke died before we returned, Mr. 
Hathaway I do not know when I see him, but I believe 
he may be somewhere about the Country, Mr. Netherclift 
I have not had an Opportunity of inquiring of, but there 
can be no doubt the Money is due — there are also some 
Moneys due for lands rented by Mr. Tatnall or Mr, Glen, 
but we have no Account from them relative to it, there- 
fore can't say to what Amount — I shoud suppose Mr, 
Tatnall must owe something for the labour of the Negroes, 
as they say they were employed sometime by him on hi'^ 
own land making Staves — there have been three or four 
persons applyed to me for debts due them by the Orphan 
House among whom is one Miller, & a Mr. S'axe also Mrs. 
Floyd, who has lived many Years at the Orphan House. 


and Says there is a considerable sum due to her — I have 
put every one off who have applyed to me, with an expec- 
tation of some person coming out to setle the concerns, 
not being competent or sufficiently informed to enter on a 
liquidation of these Acct's myself; Mr. Habersham has 
also a very considerable demand on the Institution — the 
late War has been very unfortunate for every one con- 
cerned in this country — the Stoppage of Commerce, the 
wanton waste & destruction of property, all operated to 
bring on very heavy losses on all who were interested in 
it but God be praised those times are past away and better 
prospects are before us, may we 'be gratefull for them & 
improve them in such a manner as may shew we are sensi- 
ble we owe them to his goodness only I have as far as in 
my power giveing you a detail of such facts as have come 
within my knowledge relative to Bethesda — I shall always 
be happy to promote its prosperity or render your Lady- 
ship, who I know has its welfare much at heart, every 
service in my power ; it is absolutely necessary that some 
Person shou'd have the Sole direction of this business, & 
be as a head to it, in its present situation its an unprofit- 
able property — Mr. Habersham or myself may barely keep 
it together, untill you direct otherwise, but neither of us 
can give that attention to it that it requires — we may advise 
or direct or furnish them with necessaries but this is not 
sufficient — some person shoud reside on the spot but in 
that case, to put it in a Situation to repay the Expence the 
hands must be increased — or otherways twoud be better 
to drop it altogether — I shall only add that I am, with 
great respect 

Your Ladyships most Obed't Humble Serv't 

J. Clay. 


Savannah 16th Feb'y 1784. 
Rev. Mr. Wm. Piercy 
Dear Sir 

A few days ago I received a letter from the Countess of 
Huntingdon of the 19th Oct'r last, under cover from Mr. 
Roger Smith, who requests me as her Ladyships Attorney, 
to pay him the Monies that may be due to her for Rice 
received from her Plantation, this you may be assured sur- 
rized me not a little — her Ladyship writes me on the same 
subject & requests me to give her every information in my 
power, & observes that you in your Accounts have left me 
so large a De'btor to her, that she wishes to know the 
various particulars or the Justness of her demands — to me 
this is all darkness — I have wrote her Ladyship as fully as 
in my power — I have not sent her the particulars of my 
Accounts, nor an exact State of them for fear I shou'd 
omit any thing to the Credit of them, the little attention 
that have paid to Accounts for some Years past, the 
Various Situations I have been in, the loss of many of my 
Books & Papers all may have operated to make such a 
thing possible & therefore I wou'd wish you to see them 
as they stand in my Books — I think the Quantity of Rice 
Credited in 1776, is more than I received, to the best of 
my remembrance all we received from the Orphan House 
was ship'd on board the Georgia Planter, which was 
33 Blls — this Vessel was detained here & her Cargo land5d 
again — in July following I find we sold 12 Blls Rice 
received from the Orphan House, which I have added to 
the 32, but on recollection I am in some degree perswaded 
in my own mind, they were a part of those relanded from 
the Geo'a Planter — you will be able to inform me — the 
Amount of Debits are just as they stand in our Books, 
by far the larger part of w'ch youll notice is Cash I shall 
be very uneasy untill I hear from you and this business 
is properly explained — what I am to think on the matter, 
even conjectures fail me for any probable reasons to sat- 
isfy myself, you only can afford me any light — these 


Advances fall very heavy on me, the various losses sus- 
tained by the War make a reimbursement very necessary, 
& if it can be accomplished in England, it will afford me 
some compensation for the great length of time I have lain 
•out of my Money, & I must rely on to press this matter 
with the Countess ; I am sure if the business is properly 
Stated to her, she will see so much equity in it on our part 
as to induce her to Order an immediate payment — I have 
been long in expectation that some person woud be sent 
out to take charge of Bethesda Affairs, I have paid what 
attention 1 coud to them, but the various concerns I have 
to attend to puts it out of my power to render them Essential 
services, they suffer much for want of being properly 
look'd after tho' the hands are too few to do much in the 
planting way Pray let me hear from you as soon as possi- 
ble Mrs. Clay & Family are all well & join me in best res- 
pects to Mrs. Piercy having rec'd none of your favours 
since my last to you I have only to add, that I am with 


Your most Ob't Ser't 

J. Clay. 

Savannah the 17th Feb'y, 1784. 
Mr. John Wright, Dorset Street 

Dear Sir 

Since my last to you I have rec'd yours of the 1st 
August last — I now enclose you a Copy of Capt. Deanes 
Will for your information — ^Mr. Habersham & myself have 
since then sold all the Negroes in our possession belonging 
to Capt. Deane, except two, one of which is a small Girl 
that Capt. Deane left with Polly Kest when he bound her 
out, & as she seem'd to look on her as her property I 
deferred selling of her for the present, as twas not absolutely 


necessary the final determination in regard to her must 
rest with you, nothing is said about her in the Will the 
other is a Man, a great Villain, who remain'd in Georgia 
I found him here & took him into possession, but he was 
soon detected with some others in a Robbery in this Town, 
tried & Condemned to be hanged, & while under Sentence 
of Death broke Jaol, what may be the end of him time only 
can shew — the whole Number sold is Eleven & a Sucking 
Child the Gross Amount of Sales is upwards of £800 Sterl- 
ing the Vendue Commissions &c will reduce the Net pro- 
ceeds perhaps near £15 — but of these Eleven Negroes Six 
of the primest of them were part of those sold by Capt. 
Deane to Dr. Clitheral — the Day of Sale we received a 
Letter from him Dated in St. Augustine claiming these 
Negroes and forbidding the Sale of them however we had 
them appraised & sold as Creditors in possession we 
thought we had a right to do so — they sold high as we 
gave Credit for a considerable part of the whole Sales untill 
next Crop this though very inconvenient we did rather than 
sink the Value of the property by selling for prompt pay- 
ment which it woud have done at least one half the bal- 
lance due on the Bond we have laid in our Claim For in 
So Car'a but I cant learn we have any prospect of receiving 
any part of it for a considerable time to come — as far as 
as I have been able to Collect as yet the Demands on 
Capt. Deanes Estate for Debts, will exceed £800 Sterling, 
if no more appear than has — We have advertized for them 
to be brought in of some time — the Legacys the Will will 
shew the Amt of — ^I have never inquired for David Laurence 
nor informed him of his Legacy indeed not being able to 
discharge it 'twas not necessary — perhaps it may be con- 
venient for you to advise his Guardian therewith — the 
Amount of the Legacy will depend on the contsruction 
of the Will if the Current Money of So. Caro'a shou'd be 
deemed the usual Currt Money before the War they will 
be £1000 Sterling if according to the depreciated Value of 
it when the Will was made it so small a sum that no person 


will presume Capt, Deane coud possibly mean to leave 
them so small a sum I believe by the Scale of depreciation 
I believe they woud not A'mount to i35 Each & on the 
other hand ilOOO Sterl'g each was more than the Value of 
Capt. Deanes Estate — I never heard him speak on the 
Subject — he had but a very short illness before he died — 
& I was many Miles from him at the time so that I had no 
Opportunity of conversing- with him Polly Kest is now in 
my Family & Joe I board out in the Town & have put him 
to School — the Boy has lost one foot occasioned by the 
bite of a Snake some Years before his Father's Death he 
is about 12 or 13 Years of Age a good tempered well dis- 
posed Boy — he writes and Cyphers tolerably — the Girl 
was bound to a Mantua Maker whom I gave leave to take 
her out of Charleston, into the Country when the City was 
likely to be Besieged — they returned soon after twas taken, 
& when the British left the place she went from thence to 
Augustine, from what I can learn inveighled away by a 
Young Fellow — however I sent for her here and she has 
now been with me some Months, behaves very well & is 
of an exceeding good disposition, she is about 17 years 
of Age — these young Folks are very unfortunately situ- 
ated in this Country their descent places them in the most 
disadvantageous situation, as Free persons the Laws pro- 
tects them — ^but they gain no rank in Life White Persons 
do not commonly associate with them on a footing of 
equality — so many of their own Colour (say the mixt 
breed) being Slaves, they too naturally fall in with them, 
and even the Negro Slaves claim a right to their acquain- 
tance & Society — thus a little reflection will present to 
you what their future Prospects here must be — neglected 
by the most respectable Class of Society, are forced to inter- 
mix with the lowest, & in what that must end — we woud 
wish to draw a Veil — all the Care that can be taken of 
them cant prevent it, it arrises from our peculiar situation 
in regard to these people — the most eligible plan that I can 
recommend is that they be sent to Europe — this alone can 


save them — if you woud consent to receive them as your 
Wards, I think they might both be made usefull Members 
of Society no such distinctions interfere with their happi- 
ness on 3^our side the Water — the Boy might be Bound 
to some business, which he might be able to pursue for his 
Maintenance, and the Girl might make a very good Wife 
to some honest Tradesman, who woud be glad to take her 
with such a sum as she might be intitled to from the Estate 
— Mr. Habersham accords with me fully in this Idea, and 
Mr. Hamilton who was here sometime past, & with whom 
I conversed freely on the subject, recommended the same 
thing & promised me to write you fully on the business, 
shoud this be your opinion I woud send them to you ^ 
the first safe Conveyance to London, from whence they 
might be sent over to you I mention London because Oppor- 
tunitys direct to Ireland very seldom present themselves 
shoud a direct Conveyance offer twoud be preferable — I 
shall be glad to hear from you on this business as quick 
as possible — shoud you concur in opinion with me Our 
Executorship might soon be closed — we might settle all 
the Debts, receive a Security from you to save us from all 
claims for Legacys &c due from the Estate, & then places 
the whole residue of the Estate in your own possession by 
which mode every thing might be soon closed — Mr. 
Hamilton when he was here went to view the 1000 Acre 
Tract of Land at my particular request that he might 
write you his opinion of it, mine is the same as when I 
wrote you last — if the mode I propose of setling matters 
shou'd be agreable to you — you may command any services 
in my power as before — the Person who rented the land last 
Year, quits it this, nor have I any prospect at present of get- 
ting any person to take it this — indeed I wish to meet with 
any person who will take charge of it Gratis in Order to pre- 
serve the buildings, — unless you improve these Lands I 
cant think you will gain much by keeping them — few Per- 
sons in this Country rent lands a freehold is so easily 
obtained by those who possess any kind of property that 


hireing places to plant on is rarely thought of — I think you 
are now possessed of every information necessary for you 
to enable yourself to decide finally — when I can compleat 
a full liquidation of all the Accounts you shall have Copies 
of them but you may Calculate on the outlines as I have 
given them to you with certainty I suppose the Girl & Boy 
will cost including boarding Schooling &c between 80 & 
90 Guineas ^ Annum I give 30 G. ^ Ann for boarding & 
washing Joe and the person who has him complains 
that she cant afford to keep him at that. Polly at her own 
request lives intirely with me but how long it may be con- 
venient for her to stay with me (as my Family is large) 
may be uncertain — the Will will afford you every other 
necessary information — shall therefore only add that I am 
with best respects to Mrs. Wright 

DSir your most Ob't Amb't Serv. 

J. Clay. 

Savannah 15th March 1784. 
The Hono'ble Henry Laurens Esq 
Dear Sir 

I had the honor of receiving your esteemed favour 30th 
August last but a short time past, the one of the 16th same 
Month referred to never came to hand I also at same time 
rec'd from Messieurs Poisons a Letter covering the power 
of Attorney mentioned in yours — the Father of these Gen- 
tlemen was included in our Act of confiscation & banish- 
ment & their lands advertised for Sale to take place a few 
days after I received their power thus situated I was at a 
loss what to determine, the time being so short & not 
being sufficiently acquainted with the particular merits of 
the business when Old Mr. Poison Died, or what had been 
the motives that induced the legislature to include him in 
our Act; under these Circumstances I determined to pur- 
chase the whole of their Lands myself, for their Account 


expecting one of two things wou'd happen, that is either 
that I shou'd by being enabled to lay some favourable cir- 
cumstances before the Legislature or by the treaty of peace 
being in their favour, obtain a full restitution of their 
property, or that if I shou'd fail in this, that from its 
being known that I purchased for the heirs, I shoud buy 
them in so low as to put it in the power of Messrs Poison 
to dispose of them again to advantage & to this end, I 
empowered our friend Mr. LeConte, who was to attend the 
Sale to buy them in — whether Messrs Poisons wou'd have 
approved of my conduct I dont know — I meant it for that 
best — however by accident we were fortunate enough to 
have the Sale suspended, Mr. William Houstoun who was 
at the Sale took, on him as an Attorney, to forbid the Sale 
of Mr. Poisons lands among some others of his acquaint- 
ances absentees, & the Commissioners agreed to postpone 
them untill the Assembly met; they have since met, but 
did not come to any determination respecting Mr, Poisons 
Land Mr. Houstoun, though he forbid the Sale — had noth- 
ing particular to Offer being as much unacquainted with 
the Circumstances as myself however as no further Sale was 
Ordered, & the effects of the War are daily decreasing, I 
am of opinion nothing further will be urged on the busi- 
ness, but how far Mr. Poisons selling at this juncture may 
be prudent, I can't say, untill so much of the Act as relates 
to these Lands is repealed, or it appears some clause in 
the Treaty secures them they cant give sufficient titles 

Our State is setling again very fast, especially the back 
Country — a large Cession of Land as far So'therly as the 
Oconees has lately been agreed to by the Creek Indians 
which will be setled immediately some valuable setlers 
have and are coming in from East Florida our Ports has 
been tolerably filled this Winter and though individuals 
will feel the effects of the War for many years, I may Say 
all, their lives, yet the Country at large will soon recover — 
Nothing is wanting but hands to cultivate the earth I have 
entered into business again with a hope by my Industry 


to retrieve past losses and with an expectation of being 
by that means more in the way of collecting my Old Debts; 
how far it may answer either of those purposes, time only 
can shew, nothing on my part so far as my knowledge & 
ability reaches shall, be wanting to effect it — I have only to 
assure you — ^I am with great respect, & regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Hum'Ie Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 3d April— 1784. 
Mr. Joachim Noel Famin 
Dear Sir 

I rec'd yours of the 31st October last ^ Capt. Russell 
who arrived here three days ago — Your information from 
Car'a & Georgia in my opinion is in no respect well founded 
every thing in both States being in general in a thriving 
way, many of the British may possibly complain ; they have 
been so used to be Masters in this Country, that it gives 
them pain to find we can in every respect do without them, 
and some of them who find themselves obnoxious to the 
generality of the Citizens of this Country I trust are the 
writers of such unfavourable reports — however even at 
this Day they have too many Friends in the Towns — ^Goods 
'tis true have sometimes been brought in by Strangers & 
sold low, & just as peace took place large quantities were 
pushed in, & glutted the Markett for sometime, but that 
is over & things are nearly in their Old Channell — if I 
meet with a purchaser for your Land so as to answer the 
purpose of setling every thing as you propose, I will dis- 
pose of them, as population increases that may be effected — 
I cant well say what Goods woud bring the most profit but 
I shoud suppose coarse & midling linnens hardware Calli- 
coes & printed linnens &c woud do as well as any thing — 
for Cash any thing is difficult to part with, owing to the 


Scarcity of Specie, on Credit they sell as usually — your 
friend in East Florida has nothing to apprehend on account 
of his bearing Arms during the War; as a British subject 
he had a right to do so; if he owed no Allegiance to the 
United States, or took the Oaths to any of them, or is 
included in any of the Acts of Treason of the several 
States, he has nothing to fear — he will find protection & pre- 
fect security for his person & property come when & from 
where he will — no Army will kept in our State, our Inhab- 
itants hold themselves competent to their own defence, as 
to the Indians they are looked on as too contemptible an 
Enemy to create the smallest uneasiness, nor is their any 
thing to apprehend from them — in regard to Lumber it 
woud be very tedious to mention the mode of measuring, 
prices, &c, probably you may have an Account of the 
former, as it is the same as before the War, as are the 
prices in general, at foot is the present Curr't prices I have 
only to assure you that I am with regard 
Your most Obed't humble Ser't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 3d April 1784. 
Messrs John & Hugh Poison 

I received your favour of the 23d August & shoud have 
reply'd sometime past had not indisposition prevented — 
your Power of Attorney to me and Col'l Laurens & his son 
also came to hand at the same time accompanied with a 
Letter from the former — the Lands you mention were in 
such a situation that it was not, nor has not been in my 
power to do any thing with them as to Sale they were 
unfortunately included in our Act of Confiscation, either a 
British property or the property of your favour as an 


Inhabitant of this State, I do not know which — they were 
advertized for Sale to take place in 3 or 4 days after yours 
came to hand — the time was then too short to take any 
Steps in the business nor was I sufficiently acquainted with 
the Circumstances to know how to act I concluded to buy 
such of them in as should be sold (the whole not being 
advertised) on your Accounts, expecting that we might be 
able to lay matters before the Legislature in such a light 
as to induce them to order a full restitution of the property, 
or that the Treaty of Peace between G. B. & the U. S. 
woud by some Articles or other secure them to you; to 
this end I empowered a Friend who proposed to attend 
the Sales (they being held at Sunburry) to purchase them 
in; fortunately Mr, William Houstoun who is well 
acquainted with you was present at the Sale & by some 
means prevailed on on the Commissioners to postpone the 
Sale of your Lands with some others untill the Legisla- 
ture met — they have since met but did nothing in the 
business neither for or against — he (Mr. Houstoun) was 
not any more acquainted with particulars relative to this 
property than myself however I do not think the State will 
interfere further in the matter, but untill so much of the 
Law as includes this Land in the Act of Confiscation is 
repealed, you can't give legal titles to any one who might 
be desirous of purchasing it — it woud be proper that we 
shoud be informed when your Father Died if it was before 
the War I apprehend our Act woud not reach his property — 
tis my belief the Public will not make any claim in future 
but at present matters do not stand on such a footing as to 
make it prudent to proceed to sell nor will the land in my 
opinion bring near so much as it may at some future day — 
as the Inhabitants increase, and which they are no^'^ doing 
very fast Lands must rise in Value I do not learn that 
your Lands are so valuable for the richness of their Soil 
as the pleasantness of their situation, which as yet is not 
so much attended to with us as the Quality — Mr. Mossman 
will pay the Amount of your draft — & shoud no Expen- 


ditures be necessary on your behalf I will remit the Amount 
no Taxes has been paid I presume for some time — 'twill 
be proper in my opinion in future to pay them as they 
become due least a failure shoud give rise to any unfavour- 
able measures — I have only to assure you of any services 
in my power and am with respect 

Your most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 17th April 1784. 
George Meade Esq. 
Dear Sir 

I hope we shall very shortly Say at least that the pro- 
duce of America shall not be Ship'd from her Ports to the 
British Islands but in American Bottoms, & by American 
Merchants only, or some other mode operating to that 
effect — tis an Insult to the feelings of Men, and a great 
indignity to the States, that the Subjects of a Nation who 
have for many Years being laying Waste our Country, & 
deluging it with the blood of its Inhabitants, shoud at so 
early a period attempt to Monopolize so large a branch of 
our Trade as the one they are now aiming at. 

I am with great respect 

D'Sir your most Ob't Serv't 

J. C. 

Savannah the 22d April 1784. 
Mr. John Wilcock 
Dear Sir 

Since my last to you I have rec'd your several favours 
of the 11th Nov'r 24th Dec'r & 16th Ulto I observe you have 
altered the destination of the Pallas — I very sincerely wish 
she may make a profitable Voyage, such a one as may 
compensate for the many disappointments & expences, you 


have been put to on her Account this last Winter — I cant 
say whether tis for your advantage that you could not prose- 
cute your Voyage here — had you been permitted to have car- 
ried it into execution, nothing in my power shou'd have been 
wanting that coud have in the least degree promoted your 

The very great losses this State has sustained by the 
War in Slaves, and property of every kind — the great dis- 
persion of her Inhabitants when the British Troops got 
possession of it, & the many evils the natural consequences 
in any Country that becomes the Seat of War, have all con- 
tributed to throw her greatly behind hand — the last may 
be said to be the first Crop that has been planted since the 
year 1776 & it was very far short of what it used formerly 
to be, & very inadequate to our wants & very dispropor- 
tionate to the Amount of our Imports — however our pros- 
pects are greatly brightening most of our Old Inhabi4:ants 
are returned with their property, & amazing Numbers of 
New Setlers have come in within the last twelve Months, 
it is supposed there will be near three times the land planted 
this year that there was last, this must tend greatly to ease 
cur Trade, & to remove many difficulties it has been labour- 
ing under for some Years past, & there can be no doubt 
but that this State must become in point of Commerce, in 
a very few Years, one of the first States in the Union. 

Our Vessels lay here in fresh Water no worms ever 
touch them, if they lay below, Say at Cockspurr in the 
Summer — they might suffer, we bring near 24 a 25 feet 
Water to Cockspurr, which is a very safe Harbour, about 
7 Miles from the Barr, & 11 from Town we bring 12 feet 
up to Town, & Vessels that exceed that Draught may com- 
pleat their lading to 14 or 14^ feet about 3>< Miles below 
the Town. 

Very respectfully 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed. Serv. 
Jos. Clay. 


Savannah the 24th April 1784. 
Mr. Rabert Dillon 

When Capt. Saltus arrived with us I immediately 
applied to Major Washington to furnish me with Lumber 
to Ship by him, or to provide a Quantity ^ the next Trip, 
to both of which requisitions I rcc'd so evasive an answer 
that I wrote him desiring him to write you himself on the 
subject — these kind of people without knowledge or Expe- 
rience, have been purchasing & Speculating on every thing 
they can lay their hands, the generality of them knowing, 
one thing, & that was, that they cou'd not be worsted, 
having nothing to loose, in this way they have laid them- 
selves under so many obligations, that they comply with 
none of them, but on the contrary, deceive and disappoint 
every one who have any thing to do with them Washington 
tis said has realized a handsome fortune, at least this is 
the general opinion, for my part the winding up only in my 
opinion can ascertain that — if we were to Sue him he woud, 
or at least he might, traverse the matter at Court so as to 
Spin out twelve Months before you coud obtain Judgement, 
were this not the Case I woud recommend that mode. 

In regard to Deane's Wench the keeping her at hire 
will not answer and is a trouble I never can think of suffer- 
ring you to remain subject to, woud she not sell payable 
in the Crop, if she was fit for a family, I woud have no 
objection to send for her here I know she is capable, but I 
presume has been so long her own Mistress, & so attached 
to Caro'a that, she woud with great reluctance come here — 
I am told you have great uneasiness in your State relative 
to the Tories — tis hard that Peace or War they shoud inter- 
rupt our Gover't your Assembly in the opinion ; even, of 
moderate Men, certainly went too far — Your Legislature 
and ours are the only ones on the continent that have given 
themselves, any trouble, about them, remember me to all 
with you, & believe me to be with great regard D'r Sir 

Your most Ob't Serv. 

J. C. 


Savannah June 1st 1784. 
Mr. J. Wilson, Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

I received your favour of the 5th Ulto covering fifteen 
Treasury Certificates Amounting to Nine thousand seven 
hundred & fifty one pounds 9/ — ^I observe the Certificate 
for £396.. 6/ of the 20th May 1777 has been in part paid in 
Continental Money as ^ Endorsements on the back of it. 

Our legislature have taken no Steps as yet either for 
paying, or funding them ; they directed an Account of them 
to be rendered in, that they might know the Amount, and 
which has been done by most of the holders — Our Treas- 
urers Books were lost w'hich rendered this Step necessary — • 
this is all I can do with yours at present which I will do & 
return them to you as you desire, might the recording of 
them in our Secretarys Office be proper to guard against 
any future Accidents — Our Assembly meet the first of next 
Month, 'tis very probable they may come to some rule for 
providing for them — Audited Certificates pay for Confis- 
cated property sell from 3 to 4 for 1 — ^but loan Certificates 
untill the Assembly make a provision for them, will not 
be in demand, & am with regard 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed. Serv. 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah June 8th 1789. 
D'r Sir 

If we are to believe the reports from the Indian Coun- 
try they were just about leting loose their Vengeance upon 
us what wou'd have been the consequence in our unpre- 
pared situation may be more easily conceived than des- 

I have only time to add that I am in regard 
D'r Sir 



Savannah 27th June 1789. 
Abraham Baldwin Esq'r 

We have nothing new — no advices from above 
respecting the treaty — ^I am told Gov'r & Council are 
adjourned to the Oconee's at whose charge or for what 
purpose none I have met with can inform me I auger very- 
ill of this business — my Idea is the avidity we have for 
land will prevent a treaty on reciprocal ground — the utmost 
I expect is that something may be patched up by w'ch we 
may gain time — we have not the smallest means to go 
to war with & the Indians will be cautious how they drawn 
down the force of the Union — were it not for that I am 
convinced they have so indifferrent an opinion of our 
ability (as a State) to hurt them that they wou'd risque a 
war directly I am with regard Dear Sir 

Yours &c 

J. Clay. 

Jonah Horry Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

I received your several favours of the & 1st 

Inst respecting a negro of Mr. Blakes in our Jaol I had 
some expectations of sending him to you by Mr. Elliott he 
gave me reason to believe he cou'd make it convenient to 
take him — unfortunately I was not in town or did not know 
when he sett off for Beaufort by which means I was 
deprived of opportunity writing you. 

I have this day put Caesar on board Capt. Godett & 
drawn on Mr. Gadsden's for il5..12..11 Sterling the amount 
of Jaol fees, taking up Mileage advertising and a small 
Doctors bill and which I was obliged to pay when I took 
him out — I am surprised it was not known sooner that the 
fellow was here and the more so as I find he was very 
regularly advertised — 

I hope your residence at Beaufort will have the affect 


of preserving you and Mrs. Horry from the fall fever — Mrs. 
Clay and our family are well and join me in best respects 
to Mrs, Horry and am with regard and respect 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed Serv 

Joseph Clay. 

Savannah 9th August 1789 
Dear Sir * 

^ Capt, Burnham I received yours of the Instant 

the appointment of the Custom house Officers, in general 
gave tolerable satisfaction in this part of the Country — the 
Collectors I believe almost universally, and I am very sure 
the United States will never have occasion to regret it, 
either for want of attention, capacity or integrity; how 
Collins's appointment may operate I dont know — tis said 
on the late investigation he discovered either a want of 
ability or attention — perhaps both — a small Port so near 
a large one, and where a single Officer presides — a great 
door may be opened for smuggling, unless their shou'd be 
very great integrity in the Officer who presides, when goods 
are landed so near Markett, and where the conveying them 
either by the inland water carriage, or by land, is so easy, 
the temptation will naturally present itself — if the Coast 
trade, as well within each State, as from State to State, 
is not under very severe regulations, and them well 
attended to, the revenue will be defrauded frequenly — for- 
eigners will embrace every opening, and too many of our 
own citizen's may be found too prone to assist them in 
their attempts, and not a few of them also may be as willing 
to take advantages of that kind where they present them- 
selves as foreigners — 

I am very glad to find Indian matters are attended to 
by Congress — I had no Idea of any thing I wrote on the 

• Probably to the Hon. Henry Laurens. 


subject being used in a Public way, or I shou'd probably 
have wrote with more attention, if any loose hints I may 
have drop'd on the subject have been of any service I shall 
be very happy — if once the business is fairly in the hands 
of Congress, so that both we and the Indians feel the 
restraining and Protecting Power of the Union, we shall 
do well — posts must be established to carry this into effect 
— many talk of Strong forts and large Garrisons to me they 
appear totally unnecessary — I do not consider them as 
Places of defence, but for the purpose of restraining those- 
either White or Red who shall infract the treatys sub- 
sisting between us, the laws of the land, or regulations of 
trade, so as to bring the perpetrator to account whenever 
they happen, and which in my openion will be ver}^ Seldom, 
when once the law less know they can't do any of these 
things with impunity — as to what may be necessary between 
us an the Spaniards — we being in that respect a barrier 
country — the forts and Garrisons or Vessels must bear 
a proportion to those they keep up, or they will not answer 
the purpose intended — tho I shou'd presume when they find 
our Government rising into respect and power they will 
for their own interest place things on such a footing as will 
remove the complaints we have had occasion so justly to 
make against them latterly — I wish our People to the 
Westward may not in part ballance this account, by give- 
ing the Spaniards like cause of complaints against them. 

I have been put to a great deal of trouble in a piece of 
business which originated when I was pay Master to the 
Southern Army — and that principally from the neglect of 
the treasury board or their Officers, and which after every 
difficulty is nearly over is still kept pending for want of 
information from them, at least as I am informed and 
which I wou'd be obliged to you if you shou'd have time, 
before you leave New York to make some enquiry so as to 
Push the business on to a conclusion — ^but to make you 
informed therewith, 'twill be necessary for me to detail 
a few circumstances in order to give you an Idea of the 


business — in June 1781 while our Army was encamped 
before 96 in St Carolina Gen'l Greene proposed to me to 
go from there to Augusta, to endeavour to get the People 
together, encourage them and endeavour to form some 
System of Government suitable to the present Situation 
of the Country and some other business respecting the 
safety there securing Public Stores &c, all of which I 
effected as far as the circumstances of the time wou'd per- 
mit — while I was absent a sum of paper Money came on 
for the Use of the Army as far as Charlotte in No. Car'a — 
theCountry at that time being very insecure, the Escorts 
wou'd not come any further — and the Money being of no 
use not haveing any circulation, or being of any service 
either as Pay or for the purchase of supplies the sending 
for it was no object — the General wrote me from the Army 
while I was in Georgia, that the Money was at Charlotte, 
and that as the Escorts were uneasy to be gone, he shou'd 
direct it to be left there, which was done, some time after 
I returned to Camp, and after a while had occasion to go 
to No. Car'a, I applyed to the General to know if I shou'd 
have the Money brought from there — he said there was 
no occasion, that it was of no use, and as we had no fixed 
station at that time, and our remaining there must depend 
on who had the longest sword the enemy or us — it was not 
necessary or words to that purpose, When I went to Char- 
lotte I found it in the hands of a Mr. Alexander, with 
whom it had been left by the Escorts, to whom he had 
given a receipt for it — he was a Quarter Master to the 
Continental Troops, while they remained in that part of 
the Country, and so long as a Post was kept at Charlotte — 
I found on inquiry he was a man of family there, and of 
good Character — he now resides there and in repute — when 
we got possession of Georgia I resigned my Office which 
was in July 1782 and wrote to this Alexander to send 
the Money to a Col Kershaw at Camden, I also made a 
return of all the Moneys, bills &c in my hands, and of this 
in Alexanders, and wanted Gen'l Greene to appoint a per- 


son to receive them from me, but he declined it — when 
Major Pierce came on to the So'ward he received all my 
Vouchers Money &c — every thing respecting them, took a 
power of attorney from me and promised to get all my 
accounts setled, and which was done and a considerable 
sum is now due me for Pay — the Money left in Alexander's 
hands, I returned stating the ballance exactly as it was, 
and which was received and no hint ever thrown out that 
I was held Accountable for it, nor until three Years after- 
wards — When Major Pierce was here, I informed him fully 
of the business, and he advised me to return the fact as 
it was, he was well acquainted with all the circumstances 
as all my accounts and correspondences during the War 
(after Mr. Palfreys resignation) being through here at 
this time, say when he was in Georgia, I had never heard 
from Alexander, soon after he went to the No'ward he 
Alexander wrote me that he had delivered it to one Russell 
who was then in business in Charleston and that he had 
desired him to deliver it to me — I then wrote to Russell 
who some time after informed me he had the Mony — that 
he offered it to General Greene Col'l Carrington but none 
of them wou'd receive it from him, and that it was ready 
to be delivered at any time — I then wrote Mr, Pierce (in 
Dec 1785) where the Money was, and inform'd him as I 
presumed it must go No'therly had given no directions 
relative to it — in May 1786 I again wrote Mr. Pierce as 
follows — I wish the Money in Mr. Russell's hands was 
ordered into some Officer of the United States, for tho I 
do not hold myself responsible for it, I shou'd wish it to 
be placed in such hands as wou'd take even the most distant 
charge of it from me — notwithstanding this it was March 
1787 before any step was taken in the business when he 
wrote me of the 23d of that Month that the Treasury 
board had directed him to send for the Money in Mr.Russells 
hands, and that he had drawn an Order on him for it in 
favour of Mr. Neufville, when Mr. Neufville got the order 
Mr. Russell cou'd not be found, he had with drawn himself 


as afterwards came to light into Wilkes County (where 
he now resides in business and makeing Money very fast 
as I am informed — soon after about half the Money (the 
whole was 57,600 dollars new Emission) was brought to 
Mr. Neufville in Charleston as from Mr. Russell but no 
information of Mr. Russell — ^but that he had used the 
Money, that so soon as he was able, every farthing shoud 
be repaid but so soon as the treasury board found the 
Money was in Jeopardy they fastened on me, and directed 
that I shou'd be sued for the amount, they did this before I 
presumed they knew Mr. Neufville had received a part of 
it from Mr. Russell — a suit was accordingly commenced and 
is now pending the event of it to me at present on many 
scores is of very little consequence — further than that I 
Avou'd not wish there was even a surmise that I ever had 
used the property of the United States, or any other, or 
that I directly or indirectly withheld any of their Monies — 
the fact is the very reverse I served them faithfully upward 
of 5 Years during all of w'ch time while I was in Georgia 
I was in advance for them from il500 to 8 or £9000 at a 
time as my Accounts by being referred to will shew when 
we were drove out of our Country I had it not in my 
power to advance however to return to my Story Russell 
since the suit was pending has sent upward of 10,000 
Dollars more of the money lodged in his hands which he 
had as he says through his necessities been induced to 
pledge as a Security for goods he purchased in Charleston 
and w'th which he set up Store in Wilkes where I under- 
stand he carrys on a very profitable business — I never to 
my knowledge saw him tho' he also was a Quarter Master 
in the Army — he has wrote me two or three letters taking 
the whole business on himself & assuring me that I never 
shall suffer in the least for I wrote him that I was sued in 
order to spur him as well as from a Wish to get the U. 
States secured his last letters are advising that he is ready 
to pay the ballance whenever he knows what money will 
be received for it — or at what rate Specie will be received — 


neither myself nor Major Pendleton cou'd inform him but 
Major Pendleton in consequence thereof suspended the 
operation of the suit against me, & has as he informs me 
wrote for Instructions as to what money he may receive 
but can get no answer he suggested to me the requesting you 
to Urge it — to me the present situation is very injurious 
I am kept out of a large balance due me by the United 
States & which I can with truth Say I diligently & faith- 
fully earned, & am hung up as the ostensible person in a 
business that their neglect only has been the cause of — the 
Money was Maryland & Virginia New Omission issued 
at 40 for 1, I suggested to Russell who by his letters 
appears anxious to pay the balance, that Old Continental 
Money at 40 for 1 C. loan Office Certificates wou'd probably 
answer, but as neither Major Pendleton or myself cou'd 
say any thing w'th certainty the business remains where 
it was — tis more than probable he could help out to defray 
the Indian treaty either by furnishing Tobacco or some 
other means if its put on any tolerable generous footing so 
that he has it in his power to comply — The money when it 
came from the No'ward was worth nothing — nor I believe 
until near the time Russell pledged & sold it — nor can the 
U. States be chargeable (if they were ever chargeagle at 
all) by the States who were & have been bound for its 
redemption for more than its Specie Value when they 
received it — the indifference of Congress or the treasury 
board respecting it for 5 Years is Proof of how little value 
it was, they were too much in want themselves to have 
let it lay idle so long if it cou'd have been of any Use — the 
ballance unpaid is 19700 dollars, the other paid he has repaid 
in like money — probably as the business has been so long 
dormant it may come suddenly on Law, in w'ch Case the U. 
States being well secured & receiving Interest it wou'd be 
no Inconvenience to them to give time for payment Mr. 
Pierces death was very unfortunate for me — he took a 
great deal of pains to have all my matters setled & had 
near brought every thing to a close when this matter 


turn'd up — the want of means only prevented my being 
paid & discharged — I was at one time to have had an order 
on the Treasury of So. Car'a for the ball'e of my pay — • 
however when the money business is brought to Issue I 
hope there will be no further hindrance — from the Acco't 
I have of Russell — I shall have no objection to receive an 
order on him for my ballance provided it can be so managed 
that he will not have it in his power to pay me in our paper 
mone}^ — how this money will be charged I don't know, but 
when it came to the So'ward & for Years afterwards the 
ballance due from him was not worth half the ballance due 
me by the U. States I hope you will excuse this trouble & 
the long epistle on such uninteresting matter except to 
myself & more especially as the whole of it comes to this 
one point how much is now to pay — I presum'd without 
your understanding the progress of the Business through- 
out you wou'd be unprepared to urge it — I am just now 
much engaged w'ch makes it come rougher to you than if 
I had more leisure — I have only to assure you of any 
Services in my Power here and am 

D'r Sir Yours m ob Serv 

J. c. 

P. S. — Mr. Neufville says in a letter he wrote me the 
22d Oct'r 1787— that he had found out that Russell had 
pledged to Snowden, Lothrop and Forrest of Charleston 
19,700 dollars as a security for goods purchased of them to 
the amount of £235 Stg. so much for its Value then — he in 
the same letter mentions that he heard Russell was in 
Wilkes County — wishes me to preserve his (Russell's) 
letter acknowledging the receipt of the money — in case 
he shou'd be obliged to account in this State & doubts not 
of my readiness to assist in the recovery if he shall be 
found in our State at the time you see they did not hold 
me responsible — When Mr. Pierce left this I promised 
to do every thing in my power to find Alexander & recover 
the money which I did & advised him accordingly — I have 


both their letters Say A and R acknowledging the Receipt 
of this Money however I have no doubt from Russell's 
3 Letters & the character I hear of him that he will end 
the business by paying or securing to be paid so soon as 
its Value is fixed, w'ch I hope will be on reasonable Terms 

& by w'ch terms at loss more than the real Value 

of any Curr'y not the nominal one. 

Savannah the 30th Dec'r 1789. 
Alex Hamilton Sec of the Treasury the United States 

I received your very obliging favour of the 2d Oct'r 
last respecting a claim of the United States on me for a 
sum of money of the new emission — & tho under the 
peculiar circumstances of this business I can't think myself 
responsible yet 'tis my wish to see the United States 
secured in the same as soon as possible & shall do every 
thing in my power for that purpose the person who received 
the money and appropriated it to his own use (as he says 
prompted by penury & want) is I am told at this time in 
very good circumstances & writes that he only waits to 
know what money will be received in payment & at what 
rate — he has already sent to Savannah 10,100 dollars of that 
emission over & above what he paid to Mr. Neufville in 
Charleston So. Car'a he offered a very considerable sum 
in Public securities of So. Car'a provided they wou'd be 
received, but neither Major Pendleton nor myself cou'd 
venture to receive them not knowing whether they wou'd 
be accepted nor what was the value of them when I first 
inform'd Mr. Pierce that that money was in the hands of 
this Mr. Russell he was in possession of it & resided in 
Charleston and tho' I mentioned the matter repeatedly to 
him no order came on to receive it & until upwards of 12 
months afterwards during which time he, Russell, as he 
says made use of it he has been pressing for a considerable 


time past to know what will be rec'd for the ball'e — his 
circumstances may again decline, tho I have no reason for 
saying so, or suspect it, yet as it has once happened it may 
again & therefore shou'd as far as possible be guarded 
against — he says 'tis not in his power to procure the same 
emission — 'tis probable he might procure old Continental 
money or Continental loan office Certificates. 

I hope you will excuse my troubling you on this 
subject — I know your time must be always engaged in 
much more important business — the desire & anxiety I 
have to see it brought to a conclusion & the U. States 
secured & myself intirely rid of it moves me to urges it. 
I am 

Savannah 24th April 1790. 
Mr. James Thomson Jun'r Sterling 
Dear Sir 

The last I received from you proposed the Sale of 
the lands belonging to Burn's Estate, but where you 
acquainted with the situation of our Country you 
wou'd not push such a measure because 'twoud not be for 
the Interest of the Proprietors, on the contrary tend much 
to their injury — the Principal tract Say the 750 acre tract 
is situated in a part of the Country that has hitherto been 
thought a very unsafe one, as on the one hand from the 
very few setlers near it 'tis exceedingly exposed to the 
ravages of the Indians (who have very frequently com- 
mitted ravages in that part of the Country this three or 
four Years past) and from its vicinity to the Spanish setle- 
ments. Slaves are apt to quit their Masters & run into their 
lines, where they are too frequently countenanced ; these 
circumstances efifect lands in that part of the State very 
much, & lessen their Value, & of course the demand for 
these Lands in general are low, the very heavy losses many 


of our Inhabitants Sustained during the late War has 
obliged many who possess lands (which was a kind of 
Property they cou'd not lose) to offer them for Sale — the 
great loss of Slaves during the War has also effected the 
Value of Land, as their cultivation depends much on them, 
particularly in our low Country, the excessive heat & situ- 
ation of our best Say our Rice Lands, being such that 
White People can't labour in them — We have also had a 
very large tract of Country ceded to us by the Indians 
since the War, which have been granted out or sold on 
such very easy terms by Government as to operate much 
to keep down the Value of those for Sale by individuals, 
& the last are in the upper Country, & fine healthy Climate, 
fertile Soil, & where the Culture of farming is nearly the 
same as in Europe & holds fourth such temptations as 
draw great numbers of emigrants & Setlers into them — 
from all these circumstances you will naturally suppose 
the Sale of Lands will be impeded, notwithstanding all 
the disadvantages the Value of Lands must increase, & 
soon be in more demand than the}^ have been for some 
time past — this State is flourishing with rapidity & 
increasing in its Commerce and Population — the establish- 
ment of our new federal Constitution Produces the most 
happy effects, & gives energy to our laws, and the utmost 
security to our Property, & of course must tend to bring 
an increase in its Value — if you propose to sell & do it 
for Cash, the land will bring a very trifling Value indeed — 
on a Credit by installment, giveing Security for the pay- 
ment wou'd tend to Promote the Value & enhance the 
Price, but to do this, both the heirs must agree to the 
measure, or it can't be done — you on the part of Mr. Gait, 
& Mr. Alex Burn by himself or his Attorney, the last letter 
I had from them on the subject was desireing me on no 
Acco' to sell the lands, but it is now upwards of two Years 
since I heard from them tho' they do reside above 200 
Miles if so much from this — I have been thus Prolix for 
your information that you may be able as far as possible 


to Judge for yourself — One of the Tracts say the one we 
purchased is only ten Miles from the Town, & near a good 
landing, it will be much easier disposed of than the other 
which is in an uninhabited part of the Country at this 
time — Troops are expected to be Stationed to the So'ward 
of the latter & on the back of that part of the Country 
immediately, which will probably give such security to 
the Setlers, as to induce many of the Proprietors to setle 
& to setle again on these lands & of course soon brings 
them into Value again — I have had the Acco'ts of the 
Estate made out & laying by me this two Years past & 
nearly compleated to send you for your information, & 
only waited for a Settlement w'th one of the heirs, 
of Mr. Gibbons (late one of the Excrs of the 
Estate & Doctor Jones on whose lands the Negros 
planted five years under the management of Mr, Gibbons, 
for until after the Death of Mr. Gibbons, I never had any 
thing to do w'th the planting business — it being intirely 
out of my way being in business & always closely con- 
fined to it — •! have not yet been able to get these matters 
closed — as I know the matters unsetled, at least I think 
so, can't make any very great alteration in the general 
Statement of the Estates affairs I have here with sent you 
a Copy of them to the 29th Dec'r 1778 ballance in favour 
of the Extrs £118, .2. .8 Sterling at which times the Country 
became the Seat of War & I left it & did not return till 
after Savannah was evacuated by the British Troops — 
soon after I left the State the late Mr. Hugh Burns brother 
came into it, got possession of the Estate under some 
pretence or other (for I left an Overseer on the plantation, 
and supposed as the property belonged to Minor, & all 
that time British Subjects it wou'd have been unmolested, 
as the property of Minors & Widows, was always held 
Sacred by all Nations even at War) what was done w'th 
the property in that time, which was near four Years, I 
don't know, Mr. Burn went away with the British Troops 
& took such of the Negro's away with him as wou'd go 


with him, & w'ch he wou'd have done with the whole of 
them if they had been willing to go, at least I am informed 
so — the plantation when I left the State had a good dwell- 
ing house on it — a Barn, sufficient houses for the Negro's 
& all other necessary Out buildings, was well fenced, had 
a very considerable quantity of Rice on it both cleaned 
out in the Rough, & in the Stack (it being of no Value 
at that time nor cou'd we dispose of it for any thing after 
the Year 1775 all Commerce & Trade almost ceasing in 
this Country after the War began) there was also a 
small Stock, some Horses & necessary Carriages — when 
we returned not a vestige of any thing was left — every 
building was destroyed, not any fence or the least traces 
of any kind of Stock or property whatever — all was deso- 
late — how the whole of the 'buildings came to be destroyed 
was 8c is very uncertain — Old Mr. Burn lived there until 
the Evacuation of Savannah, & the last that were destroyed 
the neighbours say was done a few hours after he left it, & 
they charge him with it — he was much addicted to liquor 
& with all of a bad natural disposition, in such a situation 
he might have ordered some of the Negro's to have set 
fire to them, but I never cou'd find any thing to ascertain 
the fact in that or any other way — When Mr. H. Burn died 
he possessed twenty Negro's Valued at £575 our Money, 
dollars 1 less 5/ & half Johanico 40/ — many of them were 
small Negro's — 8 of them were boys and Girls Valued 
from ilO to £20 each — one of them a Man afflicted with the 
leprosy Appraised at £10 & who died soon after 8 other 
Men & 3 Women — we added to the Number by purchases 
as the Accounts will shew — there never was any children 
raised to grow up that I know of — of the above one was 
killed by the fall of a tree, one by Lightening (a woman 
who had a fine Child that died soon after) six or seven 
others by natural deaths at difT't Periods including the 
man above mentioned with the leprosy — the whole 
amount of Mr. Burns personal property including his 
Negro's were appraised at £639 — he was very considerably 


in debt when he died, partly from being Security for 
others, all of which we were obliged to pay, some of them 
we secured again in part, & part of them we could not & 
had we not become answerable until we could sell & make 
the most of matters his estate wou'd have been intirely 
sunk, for if we had not interfered but let suits at law have 
been commenced, it must have been sunk with the charges 
& the losses that wou'd have been sustained by selling 
property under Execution — he was considerably indebted 
to a Mr. Brewton with whom he was in America at that 
time after his Death made a purchase oi some Negro's 
in Carolina & his brother joined him in the bond & after- 
wards got him arrested for the sum & had not Mr Brew- 
ton became his security he wou'd have ruined him — Mr. 
Brewton afterwards paid the money & we repaid him, he 
also owes Mr. Jn Graham a considerable sum for Negro's 
purchased of him and other matters — he also owed myself 
and partners a considerable sum for Negro's & other 
Articles sold him so that it was a considerable time before 
we could get his affairs so extricated as to be able to look 
forward much — he was a very thriving Young Man, a good 
Planter, & had it pleased God to have spared him, wou'd 
with his management & economy & Industry have made 
a fortune — Credit at that time was very extensive, espec- 
ially to industrious men of good Character, & he woud 
have availed himself of it with advantage, notwithstanding 
the small number of his Hands & our being unfortunate 
in planting yet Sir You will observe in 1775 we had pur- 
chased a Snug Plantation, paid for it & increased his lands, 
furnished the plantation w'th every necessary, paid all the 
Debts of the Estate & must from that period have made 
money fast if the late unhappy contest had not taken place 
w'ch subjected the Estate in common w'th all others to 
very heavy losses & almost total ruin — his brothers con- 
duct contributed much to injure it & indeed he had always 
been inimical to its Interests — his brother Hugh was so 
much afarid of his brothers ill conduct and disposition, that 


added to his Will 'twas his last request to me that we 
wou'd Act for him, & not let his brother on any Account 
have the possession or management of his property who 
he said wou'd soon destroy it notwithstanding his own 
'Son was equally Interested with his Sisters son in the 
proceeds of it — we never had a suit brought against 
the Estate but by Alex'r Burn, who tho' his ballance was 
small wou'd not wait as all the other Creditors did until 
we cou'd pay him without distressing the Estate — the 
ballances appear sometimes for & sometimes against the 
Estate — every thing was done on Credit here formerly — 
I don't suppose there was ilOO passed through our hands 
in money from the day of Mr. Burns death to this time — 
all was barter, assumptions, discounts & transfers, so that 
many sums & debts assumed by us did not come to Account 
sometimes until the final adjustment of the ballancing took 
place — I hope I may have time to send you a further 
Statement up to this time, if this Vessel stays a day or 
two longer as I expect — I shall be able to accomplish it, 
& if not, ^ the next Opportunity there is the hire of the 
Negro's since the War until divided to go to the Credit 
of the Estate — there is also a proportion of Overseers 

wages while they were at Doctr's Jones's 

Mr. Burns 

join'd him in the bond for the purchase money w'ch was 
i250 Anderson run away after paying a part of the money, 
& Mr. Burns Estate was liable for the remainder, which 
we paid & I believe is not brought to Acco't in these ren- 
dered — there is also an account of Doc. Jones for Medicines 
rendered long since the ballances were struck, amount 
upwards of i25 Sterling — this is also not included in these 
Accounts so that the ballance I think will remain ulti- 
mately as it now does, against the Estate — I have only to 
add that I am w'th regard 

D'r Sir Your most Obed Ser 

J. C. 


Savannah the 31st March 1790. 
Dear Sir 

The first of Mr. Herberts bills went P a Ship in March 
1776 on board of whom Mr. Graham, Mr. Stokes the then 
Chief Justice, and several others went passengers who all 
arrived safe which affords a very reasonable presumption 
that the bills got to hand also and of course they must either 
have been paid or protested. 
And are with respect 
D'r Sir 

Your Most Obed't Serv't 

Joseph Clay & Co. 

Savannah 10th May 1790. 
Lady Huntington 

By Mr Philips you will receive mine & Joseph Clay & 
Co's Acco't against Bethesda College stated to the 1 Feb 
1789 ballance thus due me & Jos'h Habersham under 
the firm of J. C & Co. 277,1.1>^ Sterling there is the 
Interest from that period until paid to be added the 
Interest charge is the legal Interest of the Country you'll 
observe there is none charged from the 29th Dec'r 1778 
to the 12th July 1782 this is agreably to a law of our State 
and commences the between the time the Day the 
British Troops captured Savannah & ends the day they 
evacuated it — the Acco's since the War are closed annually, 
and the ballances remaining after paying the expences of 
each Year are carried to the Credit of the Acco't for 
advances of supplies for the Institution before the War — 
Your Ladyship from these will be fully inform'd of the 
Annual income & Expenditures since the War to the time 
of Mr. Philip's arrival — since w'ch I am totally unacquainted 
with all the affairs there Were I to Judge from his 
behaviour I shou'd have supposed that he believed that 


instead of my having given every support to Bethesda and 
to advancing my money & property to afford it support 
when it was all together unable to support itself (as was 
the Case w'th all Rice Estates in this State during the 
War the Crops of us and of whose are ruined & the gener- 
ality of them reduced thereby — that few of them can 
expect to live long enough to see them recover their former 
Situation) that I had been acting a very contrary part on 
his arrival he entered on the plantation in a very different 
m.anner from what he might have done the more so 
as he knew or might have known 'twas in my possession 
contrary to my desire & that only in daily expectation 
that your Ladyship wou'd send some person to take charge 
of it was I induced to pay any attention to it, & that what 
I did was without fee or reward or expectation or desire 
of any — in a very short time after his arrival he turn'd off 
the Overseer a Son of a very old Servant of the House (& 
whom I had employed for the Year) & though he had all 
the property in his hands directed him to me for payment — 
yet so strong was his then, or his present Conduct in that 
business, that he has placed the same Man (Cha's Boyd) in 
charge of the plantation & Negro's during his present 
absence — this is at least a proof that he is at this time of 
opinion that he was & is a proper person to be intrusted 
w'th such a charge. I only mention these matters, least 
your Ladyship shou'd suppose I had been intentionally 
inattentive or inimical to the foundation and not as matter 
of complaint, very far from it — Mr. Philips I believe knows 
by this time that his frowns or smiles are equally import- 
ant to me &: alike engage fny attention, & that so far from 
it were he at any time to want any assistance in any thing 
that would further the Interest of the institution I would 
most chearfully render it — Your Ladyship will observe the 
Acco's are ballanced to the 1st Feb'y 1789 Mr. Philips 
about that time talked about a settlement, & they were 
then ballanced for that purpose & I did not think it neces- 
sary to make any alteration until a final one took place in 


which I hope your Ladyship will find it convenient to 
direct in a short time and am w'th great respect 

Your Ladyship &c &c &c 

Savannah the ^July 1790. 

Nicholas Eveleigh, Comptroller of the Treasury 

Yours of the 4th May last came to hand a few days ago 
unsealed containing a statement of my accounts with the 
United States which so far as I admit the charges are 
nearly right By my general Account rendered to Major 
Jno Pierce, there was a ballance due the United States 
exclusive of my pay and Rations from the 6th August 
1777 — to the 6th August 1782 and which was expended 
by me when the depreciation was from 5 to 1200 for one 

& upward Say— in the Old Emission 196.262 46-90 

There appeared on the examination of my 
Accounts the following Errors to the prejudice 
of the United States, on a Warrant in favour 

of Col'l Drayton 5.000 

on a do in favour of Wm. Prendergast in 

No. Car'a Curr'y 4.000 

on a do in favour of Doct'r James Haig 

April 1781 8.155 30-90 

213,417 76-90 

making together two hundred & thirteen thousand four 
hundred & Seventeen Dollars and 76-90 due by me in that 
Emission — the Last mentioned Error, was in fact not one 
Major Habersham who acted for me during the Siege of 
Charleston had no more money by him when Doct'r Haig 
produced his Warrant then its the sum he payd him but 
expected to receive more & pay the ballance as above in a 
day or two, & which he was ready to do, but the Doct'r 


never called for it and I believe the real truth was that 
its value was so trifling that he was indifferent about 
the War while it had any circulation, not less than two 
for one Continental, so that the specie Value of the 4000 
dollars was very trifling at that time — my getting in debt 
to the United States was altogether latterly after that 

Period means in my power & in 

general did not stand in need of having money of my 
own sufficient to answer every purpose, in the Acco't 
I stated the Credit of the Old money at 700 for 1 & which 
I believe was more value than I received for it, & was 
what Mr. Pierce thought reasonable in No. Carolina & 
Virginia and where the Public business called you — at 
that time but principally the latter the real depreciation 
was intolerable in travelling, which tis more than probable 
you may have experienced, before I left Georgia the 
United States were generally in My debt as My Acco'ts 
will shew, during the whole time I was in the Service 
when I was Obliged to travel or be with the Army, I 
always found my own Horses & Servant, & therewith 
transported my book paper's & Money, never having put 
the United States to the Expence of Tent or Waggon & 
team and scarcely ever drew any Rations, & unless when 
in Camp or at Posts any Forage, and which was the 
smallest part of my time, being generally moving about 
on Public business, I observe 1650 dollars discount from 
my ballance as My nominal pay, & Mr. Pierce wrote me 
it was said I ought to have drawn it — there were two 
reasons why I did or cou'd not, the one was not knowing 
what my pay was, & the other that a considerable part of 
the time it was not in my power — & if it had 75 depreciated 
dollars at that time was too trifling a sum to pay any 
attention to on the Score of pay — I observe by the sum 
you mention as due from me in Old money that a Warrant 
for 129,100 dollars is still kept to my debt, this business 
I have fully explained before, & must Say that I am 
Surprised at the charge as there is no just foundation for 


it the parties on whom twas drawn, the Commissioners 
of the C. loan Office in So. Car'a haveing never paid me 
or any person for me any part of it, nor have they charged 
the United States one farthing as paid in part of that 
Warr't & is the reason I say that I am surprised at the 
charge — I have never returned the Warr't tis true, & in 
times of tranquility & Order I grant I ought to have done 
so, but will any person say it was even possible for every 
person in Office to transact their business according to 
strict rule & for me during the different periods of distress 
and confusion in the several States in the late War it was 
ever my study as far as was in my power to pay the strictest 
attention to the Interest of the Public — ^Mr, Pierce was 
kind enough to say when I delivered up my Vouchers, that 
very few who had done business for the U. States to the 
extent I had, had secured them in their property better 
than I had done — the Warr't in question was drawn in 
favour of Mr. Gervais who indorsed it to me for so much 
Public Money I had left in his hands & for which I was 
responsible & that he had made use of as pay Master for 
the State on my receiving it I waited on the Commissioners 
for payment — they told me they had not money to take 
it up at that time on which I left it with them in confidence 
and for Safety and which I had frequently done before 
with other Warr'ts both on them and the Treasurers — this 
was just before the Siege of Charleston — after calling once 
or twice & they not being able to pay me I ask'd Mr. Blake 
(who happened to be in the Office at that time) to return 
it to me on which he told me it was not in his power as 
they had already packed it up & if I remember right sent 
it away with their own papers — I was no ways uneasy at 
his information relying on their integrity & knowing that 
as they cou'd have no Credit by me for it with the U. S. 
having paid no part of it to me, & that of course the 
U. S. wou'd have no Voucher to make any charge against 
me for any part — I gave myself no trouble concerning it — 
I was about carrying my family out of Town at that time, 


and wanted to g-ive the Warrant to Major Habersham who 
was there and Acted for me during my absence otherways 
I shoud not have called on them for it then — after I was 
informed that the Warrant remained to my debt altho 
I had acquainted the Treasury board with all the cir- 
cumstances relative to it — I wrote to Mr. Blake reminding 
him of the business & requesting him either to send me 
the Warrant or a Certificate certifying that I had 
received no part of it — after some time he replyed to mine 
that he had searched their book carefully & cou'd not find 
any charge against me nor was there any, & that there cou'd 
none be made against me by the U. States, and acknowl- 
edged also that he remembered to have had the Warrant — 
this letter I inclosed to Mr. Pierce the 28th April 1787 and 
at the same time inclosed him 12 Setts bills Exchange 
amounting to 2800 dollars which Mr. Pierce by his letter 
to me of the 12 Sept'r following acknowledged the Receipt 
of — I am surprised that they shou'd still remain to my 
debt and the more so as it must be known that I had not, 
nor cou'd not receive any thing for them — ^I tendered them 
to General Green when I resigned my Office and again 
to Mr. Pierce when he received my Vouchers, but they 
both declined receiving them, expecting I believe that I 
might be able to negotiate them in part of the pay due 
me by the U. S. 

The ballance by my Account due the U. States in 
Specie was £291. .L.l^/^ No. Car'a Curr'y dollar's at 8/ but 
their appeared to be a short addition of £8 which brought 
it to i299..1..1>4 equal to 747 58-90 as ^ your statement- 
there was also a ballance of 35-90 Specie of the new 
Emission — these are all the sums due by me to the United 
States against which their is 5 Years Salary due me & 
Rations, Mr. Pierce informed me I was intitled to 75 dol- 
lars Specie ^ month & 6 Rations ^ day but in the Account 
delivered in I charged only 5 in order to make all allowance 
for what I had casually drawn which I am tolerably certain 
wou'd be far short of that allowance — ^I charged the rations 


a 10-90 — inclosed is a statement of My Account with 
his as well as the stating of my Account as to pay I did by 
Mr. Pierces directions — United States ballance due me 
thereby exclusive of interest 4460 88-90 and with 
the interest thereon to this day a 6 ^ Cent — 
£2141 22-90— is 6602 20-90 this I hope will be 
allowed me it is no more than equity especially to such of 
us in this State who have suffered very heavy losses by 
the War and of course owe considerable sums of money 
& for which by the laws of our State are obliged to pay 
8 ^ Cent ^ Annum — this is my case and every farthing 
of this ballance has cost me that because if when, or as it 
became due I wou'd have paid it to those I am indebted 
to, and thereby saved that Amount in Interest — there was 
also a charge of i300 said to be over added in My Acco't 
for October 1778 No 7 — this Acco't I transmitted in Decem- 
ber 1778 & it got to hand — no notice was taken of any 
Error in it that came to my knowledge until 1788 near ten 
Years after the occurrences relative to it had passed away — 
I have looked over my book carefully, and cant find no 
such Error that I am rather of opinion it must be some 
Error in the figures. I have inclosed you an Extract 
of the debits & Credits as they stand in my books, which 
will enable you to point out where the Errors lays or to 
shew that there is none, & will be much Obliged for you 
to examine that Months Account and advise me and am 
with respect — 

Savannah Sep'r 11th 1790. 
His Excellency Charles Pinckney Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

I received yours ^ General Jackson & two other of 
your favours prior to that to which shou'd have replyed 
sooner but have been a principal part of my time in the 
Country & much engaged when in Town that I had not 


an opportunity of making the necessary enquiries of the 
Collector of Taxes respecting the Tax Account you sent 
me & part of the time he has been out of the State which 
also occasioned some delay. — my Son went about 2 Months 
ago to the No'ward for his health from whence I expect 
he will return in Six or Seven Weeks not sooner at present 
it makes no differrence in respect to suits because no suits 
have yet been commenced in the federal Court within this 
State nor is the Seal of the Court yet arrived at this time 
the district Judge and Attorney General of that Court 
are both to the No'ward — shou'd business commence in 
that Court sooner than my Sons return, I will advise you, 
that you may direct some other Gentlm of the Bar to bring 
the Suits. — 

J. Clay. 

Savannah 5th Nov'r 1790. 
The Honble Wm. Few Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

Expecting that the late treaty with the Creek Indians 
wou'd at least afford us more Security than we have 
enjoyed in the low Country for sometime past, & knowing 
hew much more agreable, as well as convenient it will be 
to the Indian Traders to carry their Skins to, & trade at 
Beards Bluff, than to Augusta, we have been induced to 
move our Indian goods again to that place, & which we 
are now doing at a very heavy expence as all the builidngs 
we formerly erected there are either destroyed or ruined 
during the late disturbances with the Creeks. 

We have heard much of an exclusive trade being 
granted to Mr, McGillivray, but we see nothing of it in the 
treaty, and as the Constitution of the U. States is so 
pointedly against Monopolies, we conclude nothing of the 
kind has been attempted — indeed if he is to trade at all, 
he is a very improper person for a Superintendent, under 


the British Government tho Superintendent of all the 
Southern Indians & his Deputies, were all strictly forbid 
carrying on any trade with them and very properly, because 
their business & Duty was to see equal Justice done 
between the traders, & the Indians, & the Indians & Traders 
as well as to support the dignity of the Nation, they repre- 
sented nothing wou'd have proved more injurious, than to 
have allowed them to be in a situation than on any occa- 
sion they might be Parties, instead of Arbiters — 

By the Act for regulating the trade & intercourse with 
the Indians, we observe no person is to trade or hold inter- 
course with the Indians without having a license from 
the President or Superintendent or some Person author- 
ized by the President for that purpose, which I think may 
be right enough — Our business is always with the Traders, 
who bring their Skins & purchase goods, & where we have 
any faith in them they some times have them on a Credit 
but laterly many Indians and half breeds have become 
Factors, and some of them are very respectable as such, 
and are possessed of very considerable property trading 
with such persons might subject us to the letter tho' not 
to the Spirit of the law, if we have no license — and it may 
sometimes happen that Indians may come to the landing 
with Skins for Sale, which you must either purchase, or 
send them away discontented w'ch is always disagreable 
and might prove injurious to our House and it might also 
subject us to censure from envious individuals, to avoid 
which 'tis our desire to take out a license — it does not appear 
that Mr. McGillivray is as yet impowered to give Licenses 
to trade — under the British Government the Superinten- 
dants never granted nor any persons but the Governors — 
he gave temporary Permits which answered the purpose 
until! they came down & renewed their licenses and gave 
bond anew — if Mr. McGillivray is empowered to grant 
licenses the distance we are from here so great & the com- 
munication so seldom that it may be a long time before 
we may have an opportunity of applying to him & if he 


does now or intends to carry on trade on his own Account 
'tis reasonable to conjecture if any obstacles or delays 
can be thrown in the way of those who wish to trade in 

the same way that will happen — if he his — 

no other person in this State is that we know of for w'ch 
reason we must take the liberty of requesting the favour 
of you to obtain a license for us in the name of William 
Clark & Co. as he might not always be at the Store by 
being in the name of the Comp'y the Clerks of the House 
wou'd be authorized to Act under it — any Expences attend- 
ing it we will remit you as soon as known under the 
British Government the Price of a license was from about 
30/ to 60/ — they were then only for a Year — by the Law 
of the U. States they may be granted for two Years which 
we shou'd prefer to one Security for 1000 Dollars is 
required — we wou'd also esteem it a favour if you wou'd 
do us the favour to be ours I trust we shall put you to no 
inconvenience by so doing — our line in that business is 
quite out of the way of irregularities nor was, it ever 
required, nor was it usual for mercantile houses supplying 
Traders to take out licences — but as Indians are many of 
them of late Years become factors, our Store being in the 
line of the Indian hunting grounds, they may individually 
sometimes straggle in & we wish as far as in our power 
to avoid censure & to comply with the law in its strictest 
sense — I am inform'd that formerly those who took out 
licences had always the Names of their Pack Horse Man 
& all the white Persons employed by them indorsed on the 
back of the that may be necessary, & if so the fol- 
lowing are the Names of the White Persons that will be 
employed about our House as Clerks, Hose Keepers, & 
Patroons, George Irvine Hull, Jas. Barnard, Isaac Lagar- 
dere, Thomas Morgan, William Cousin & John Anderson — 
The Indian treaty makes much noise amogst us, & peo- 
ple have various opinions about it, I scarcely ever knew 
any matter so generally objected to, & yet, in which the 
people disagree so much in their objections Our legislature 


I expect at their present sitting will take the business up 
and I hope and believe they will do it decently & firmly 
tho' we have heard nothing from them as yet, and therefore 
tis rather difficult to form an opinion of the Temper of the 
house some are very violent but my Idea is that a Majority 
will be temperate — for my own part I think the treaty 
will do the State more good than harm, but if reports are 
true, I think the State has been treated very indelicately 
in the mode of concluding it — I always looked on the 
Cession claimed by us from the Indians, as on a very weak 
foundation, because I was allways well inform'd 'twas only 
a part of the Nation, & that the Minors who agreed to 
the Cession, and therefore I concluded if ever a fair inves- 
tigation took place, the claim of the State was never fairly 
investigated but Mr. McGillivrays assertion was admitted 
without the State being heard or her Senators or Repre- 
sentatives being either consulted with or enquired of — this 
can't be justified, we were in the full possession, & there- 
fore ought not to have been dispossed without being heard 
the meanest Wretch in the U. States is intitled to a hearing 
much less a State — the Next Question is the right of 
territory as actually sup- 
posed to be the boundary of the Province when we confed- 
erated infringed on it is it not — we gave no part of our 
territory away, occupied or unoccupied, when we asso- 
ciated the Congress of the U. States, can claim nothing 
either rationally or legally, on any other ground — is our 
right preserved by that clause that relates to pre Emption, 
or is it not — these are the principal matters of objection; 
their are several others — for my own part we entered into 
the Union to preserve our rights & privileges & tho' I 
shou'd be assured any attempt to preserve them wou'd be 
fruitless, I wou'd make the attempt tho I shou'd be assured 
of Perishing in the so doing — I consider that every thing 
we gave by the Constitution to Congress, they may freely 
exercise and no more — what we did not give remains where 
it was before the Constitution took place, however for 


my own part I am for preserving Government & order — 
let every step be taken to preserve Temper decency and 
extremes of any kind, & at same time let moderation and 
every thing that good sense & a due respect for the federal 
Government take place and be predominant before any ill 
tempered or Passionate dispositions are sulferred to have 
any weight — I am with regard & respect 
Dear Sir 

Yours &c 

J. Clay. 

Savannah the 5th Nov'r -1790. 
General Cotesworth Pinckney 
Dear Sir 

I wrote you in August 1789 respecting our debt to Mr. 
Stead — I have also wrote Mr. Stead two or three times 
respecting that & some bills exchange which were unac- 
counted for but never had the pleasure of recieving a 
line from you or him on the subject this has given both 
Col'l Habersham & myself uneasiness as well as placed 
us in a very disagreable situation & the more so as twas 
both our wishes to communicate freely with you or him on 
the subject & if any eligible mode had Pointed out to have 
exerted ourselves to have reduced our debt by every means 
in our power as soon as possible. 

A short time past Mr. Saunders call'd on me with a 
Message from you that you had heard we intended to 
pay our debt to the Public of Georgia, that if we did you 
wou'd put our bonds in suit & make us pay you over 
again or nearl}'- to that purpose for I must own I was so 
much surprised at the Circumstance that I did not attend 
very minutely to what he said nor cou'd I but feel it as 
very indelicate treatment & the more so as we had but a 
very short time before given the most unequivocal demon- 
stration in our Power of our determination to do every 


thing that we cou'd to avoid having any thing to do with 

the Public respecting the business & to 

a Citizen of the United States we had been 

cited by Public notice & after that Supposed by the 
Auditor to render an Account of all moneys due by us or 
in our possession that we owed to any of the subjects of 
Great Britian on the 10 April 1790 — Our connection w'th 
Old Mr. Stead was a maker of notoriety here & perfectly 
within the Auditors own knowledge & which he hinted to 
us, & we inform'd him that we had liquidated our Debt 
w'th Young Mr. Stead who we believed was an acknowl- 
edged Citizen of the States & that therefore we shou'd not 
consider our debt to him as within the law alluded to — 
there the matter now stands and I believe it remains v/'th 
the Legislature at their present sitting to determine what 
iurther steps shall be taken in the business as tis generally 
supposed tis a subject that will be brought before them 
before their consideration — Mr. Pendleton from whom we 
are intitled to receive a large sum for moneys due myself 
& Co. produced to us a Receipt from you for sundry obli- 
gations promising to become them in part of our bond>' 
to Mr. Stead this was brought about at our instigation as 
3'ou cou'd but know & might have served to convince you 
that we cou'd not have any desire to pay the Public, because 
we cou'd not be supposed to set so little a Value on our 
property as to be desirous of paying you and the Public 
also or that we cou'd ever have it in our power We have 
Judgements against Mr. LeContes Estate for near £2500 
Sterling & which by private agreement we consented tO' 
wait four Years for — Mr. Pendleton mentioned to us he 
expected to have Property in your State shortly which he 
wou'd apply in payment of these demands if we cou'd make 
them ansv/er our purpose in which we inform'd him that 
if he cou'd negotiate the business w'th you so as to obtain 
us a Credit in part of our bond to Mr. Stead 'twou'd be the 
most agreable payment to us — we cou'd say no further 
on the subject because we did not know that you wou'd 


receive bond or Notes or what else you wou'd receive in 
payment never having received a line from you on that 
subject — I don't know on what terms you received those 
papers but if you take them at par I presume he has the 
advantage — however what is agreable to you we are satis- 
fied with — When Mr. Pendleton came from Caro he deter- 
mined on going to the No'ward immediately & he also 
informed us that since he had lodged those papers with you, 
he had entered into some further engagements by which 
means he expected to have a further sum in your hands, 
or that he cou'd place there, & that if we cou'd pay some 
Moneys for Mr. LeContes Estate he wou'd take to setle as 
much with you for us, to w'ch we agreed if in our pov/er 
but I am afraid we shall not be able to do much that way 
as he confin'd us to two Persons only the one a Resident 
in Car'a (where if we had money we cou'd as easily pay 
it to you) & the other here & who has also a Judgement 
against the Estate — if we had been at liberty to have setled 
every sums among the Creditors at large, we might have 
by discounts brought several sums round, if we can accom- 
plish any thing further we shall certainly do it — during 
the existence of our paper Money twas not in our power 
either to collect or make setlements that being now done 
away, it is a business we shall pursue as fast as Possible, 
but such is the situation of the People of this State & more 
especially those who resided in it before the War that vig- 
orous measures will frequently be very imprudent & often 
tend, to occasion the loss of a Debt, as 'twill drive some 
to get rid of their property by making it over, selling, con- 
fessing Judgements to cover, & various other measures 
to keep ofif their Creditors, where this is to be apprehended 
we are endeavouring rather to induce those who are 
indebted to us, to give us security for the Amount & allow 
them such time as they think they can pay in, & even with 
those who we have the utmost confidence in. I know our 
Debits to be as secure as possible, we shall be oblig'd to 
allow them time & to receive partial payments — others we 


are oblig'd to receive lands from, some that have been culti- 
vated & others that have not — we have now two or three 
that have considerable improvements on them, that are 
not more than 10 or 12 Miles from this Town on Little 
Ogechee, besides two or three tracts Souherly unsetled 
that we have been oblig'd to receive in Payment, those 
are circumstances unavoidable, and such as have naturally 
arose in this State from its peculiar unfortunate situation 
during the War, & such as the most prudent and Indus- 
trious Men cou'd not escape — it has been a Public cala- 
mity & as such every one who has an Interest or rather 
who had an Interest among us in those times have par- 
taken — on this Ground it is that we wou'd again Urge you 
or Mr. Stead to receive part of your payments in such lands 
as we are oblig'd to receive & that only on such terms 
as shou'd be thought perfectly reasonable, in many instances 
this has been done in the payment of Old Debts — & in some 
intire payments have been made in that way — the property 
is growing more secure every day & will become valuable 
and more especially in the part of our State, which has 
scarcely had any security since the War until lately — We 
cou'd offer many equitable reasons in support of this 
Proposition wou'd the usual limits of a letter admit of it 
& twou'd probably be in the end rather a debt discharged 
than an inquiry — wou'd assure you tis our desire to get 
out of debt that prompted us to prefer this mode, if our 
circumstances wou'd admit us to Keep all our lands, without 
injury to others we shou'd not feel their were any burthen 
on his lands at any rate you wou'd suffer far, very far 
short of what we have and shall do even if our most san- 
guine present expectations are answered — in regard to our 
Debts — we presume from your receiving these obligations 
from Mr. Pendleton, that you will be as willing to receive 
others from us, but we shou'd wish to be inform'd from 
yourself — ^we shall not desire you to receive any that are 
doubtfull — ^by giveing indulgence in point of time as to 
Payment on their paying Interest we have no doubt 'twou'd 


not be long before we shou'd be enabled to make you 
very considerable payments & of which we shou'd always 
advise you before hand for your approbation we hope to 
have your concurrence to our propositions as we think 
taking every thing into consideration they are not unreas- 
onable, admitting that in this way some property might 
for time lay dead, yet there is a probability of an increased 
Price when a Sale takes place, & if not it is not unreason- 
able to expect, that between Debtor & Creditor for debts 
contracted before the War difficulties & losses shou'd be 
shared — the determination of the Legislature respecting 
these matters we suppose will be known in a few days, 
if the subject is (as tis said 'twill be), agitated by them, 
shou'd that be the Case and they shou'd determine on any 
steps against us respecting Mr. Steads Debts — we shall 
advise you Mr. Pendleton has promised a discount between 
5 & £600 more than the amount lodged in your hands, & 
which wou'd have been setled before this had I not been 
unwell, the principal part of the time since he returned, 
8z Col'l Habersham generally at his plantation We have 
near £200 Sterling if not more due us by one Wm. McGowen 

on his own account & in the Josephs who 

has removed from our State to yours somewhere on Santee 
near Nelsons Ferry, tho' I have heard that he had got to 
Pedee — I received a letter from him sometime ago but 
it was not dated from any Place, he made very fair 
Promises of payment & offered us as he says a very valu- 
able tract of land on North Newport Swamp, & if I am 
not mistaken lays directly in front of Mr. Steads land 
there, & which Old Mr. Stead empowered me to buy for 
him, but they wou'd not accept the Price he was willing 
to give & the matter dropt — if you can learn where he 
resides, woud be obligd to you to inform us we wish to put 


his & his brothers Obligations in suit and if agreable to 
you wou'd send them to you for that purpose — We are also 
inquiring as we have Opportunity — We have every reason 
to believe he is able to pay his own & brother Joseph's 
Debt as we understand they have several Negro's among 
them — I am w'th respect 
D'r Sir 

Your most Obed Serv — 
Joseph Clay. 
General Pickney 

Savannah the 13 Nov'r 1790. 
W. Wm. Cowper 
D'r Sir 

I wrote you a short time past respecting your State 
and loan office certificates since w'ch our Commissioner 
of loans has received orders from the Treasury to receive 
all loan Office Certificates and to transmit them to that 
Office giveing to the Parties who deliver them a Certifi- 
cate describing particularly the Certificate paid in their 
sums, dates &c — the proper Cheques being lost they give 
as one reason for this mode to prevent imposition and tis 
presumed that so soon as they have undergone examina- 
tion some provision will be made for them — I therefore 
thought it proper to give you this information, that if 
you desire it I may return yours & take the Commis- 
sioners certificate for them in order that the originals 
may be transmitted to the Treasury for Examination — you 
will therefore direct as you think proper and am w'th 

D'r Sir 

Your most Obed Serv 

J. C. 


'Savannah the 13th Nov'r 1790. 
Mr James Ryan 
Dear Sir 

I received two of your favours since my last also as 
many from Mrs Sharp — were I capable of withholding Mrs 
Sharps ballance & at same time have it in my power to 
discharge it with the least degree of convenience to myself 
I shou'd undoubtedly be blameable but be assured Sir 
that is not the Case — few Men before the War had more 
resources at their command in proportion to my property 
& Trade than myself & wou'd be the Case even at this 
time if I cou'd command my debts, in w'ch my Resources 
principally lay and w'ch from a depreciatted Paper Cur- 
rency w'ch has been in circulation and a trader in law this 
five Years past they have been in a manner lockd up it 
has been done away about two months and I am in hopes 
shall in a short time do better but so much have I been 
injured from not being able to collect my debts that I have 
been obligd to decline all business this four Years past for 
no other cause & if I had not a Plantation I cou'd not have 
supported my family tho I have at least due myself and 
partners thirty thousand Pounds Sterling for debts con- 
tracted before & since the War — however all this is nothing 
to the present business — if I had not failed in water to 
beat out my last Years Crop Mrs. Sharp wou'd have received 
her full ball'e What was sent I don't know that I saw one 
barrel of it opened it was out of a large Parcel none of 
w'ch I ever heard either before or since was found fault 
with — I expect to begin to beat out in a few days & it has 
been my full intention to Remit this ballance out of the 
first Property I cou'd command for that Purpose — if oppor- 
tunity offers and I can by any means make it out I shall 
try to remit it so as to be with you before the River closes 
and am w' respect &c 

Yours J. C. 


Savannah 19th Nov'r 1790, 
Mr Nalbro Frazier 
Dear Sir 

When Cap Burroughs sailed from this for your Port I 
was so much indisposed that I cou'd only inclose you a 
duplicate of our Aff'd and respecting the bill of Exchange 
or I shou'd have given you some information respecting 

the bills purchased by 

to them for them I feel no uneasiness on this subject — 

Bunner sailed on & our employ in a Brig called 

the Georgia Packett w'ch said Brig and conjoint property 
as well as the Cargo on board — just as she entered in our 
River I believe in Feb'y or March 1776 she was taken by a 
British Man of War & detained some time at Tybee When 
I understood they were about going away having every 
reason to believe that Capt. Bunner was destitute of money 
or at least in great want of it — & that probably for want 
of resources he might not be able to claim the Vessel & 
Cargo w'ch I had desired him to do whenever he got to a 
Port where the Vessel shou'd be libelled (the same being 
regularly cleared out from New Castle in Delaware to Sav- 
annah these Ports being excepted in the Act of parliament 
w'ch prohibited Commerce from any other of the Colonies 
now States) twas not in our power to send him Specie & 
therefore under this consideration I wrote to Capt. of a 
Merchantman for whom we had disbursed a considerable 
sum & who then lay at Tybee requesting him to draw a 
bill on his owner for £50 in favour of Bunner not choosing 
to draw myself at that time if I cou'd help it w'ch he 
readily complied with & gave Bunner a Sett of bills for 
that sum — the Scarborough M of War & our Brig & I 
believe one or two more proceeded from Tybee for Halifax — 
on their way our Brig was retaken by the Rhode Island 
Gallies & carr'd up to Providence where C: P: went claimed 
& bought her in again as our Acc't will shew Bunner soon 
made his escape & got back to your City. 

D'r Sir Your most Obed Serv J. C. 


Savannah 29th Dec'r 1790. 
Mr, Nalbro Frazier 
D'r Sir 

Your favour of the 15th Ulto came to hand a few days 
ago advising me that the referrees between us and Mr. 
Bright had finally adjusted that business, & found a bal- 

lance in favour of Jos Clay & Co. of £398. .11. .5 

and of me 283..17..8 

682.. 9..1 
and you wish me to advise you as early as possible, wether 
we will abide by their determination or attempt to set it 
aside — tho' the ballance awarded is far short of my expecta- 
tions, yet I have no doubt the Referees thought it the full 
sum we were intitled to, & we must hold ourselves under 
obligations to them for the great trouble they have taken in 
the business — the delay has been particularly unfortunate 
for us, as I shou'd suppose there is no Interest allowed us 
on these ballances, while we have been paying an Interest 
of 8 ^ Ct ^ Annum (the legal Interest here) for that 
Amount, for want of it to discharge ballances we owe, while 
Mr. Bright has had the use of our Money without any 
compensation not having any Statement of the business 
we can form no opinion or have any Idea on what princi- 
ples the Arbitrators setled the ballances, or wether they 
are awarded, as the whole ballances to be paid us by Mr. 
Bright, or are exclusive of the ballances acknowledged and 
charged by him ^ his Acco't Curr't rendered before our 
dispute was submitted to a referrence — if the latter is not 
the Case, the ballances awarded to me is very unaccount- 
able, by his Account rendered to the 20th March 1784 he 
acknowledges a ballance due me of £536. .13. .83/2 your Cur- 
rency — my Son received from him about £100 — and I don't 
lecollect wether your E. & F. received any thing from him 
on my Account (and my books are not at hand just now 
to refer to) I never understood he pretended any claim 
against me on my piivate Aco'ts I am sure I have not been 


furnish'd with or inform'd of any, nor has he any in law 
or equity — I made several claims on him, & such as in my 
opinion were very just ones, if they were disallowed my 
ballance shou'd not be lessened, even without any Interest 
being allowed me — but that he shou'd be allowed to keep 
my money so many years without any compensation does 
not appear to be very equitable — I shou'd have drawn the 
whole of it into your late house (C & F) hands, seven 
Years ago, & have had the Use of it since that period if he 
had not refused to Pay it, as your late J. C. or C & F (I 
don't recollect which) wrote me, & at same time informing 
them that as I disputed his (Mr. Brights) Accounts he 
was advised by his Attorney not to pay me any furthec 
sum of the balance he had acknowledged to be due me ^ 
Acco't Curr't rendered by him I will be much obliged to 
you to obtain for us a Copy of the Accounts as setled 
by the Arbitrators — as to endeavouring to obtain further 
redress : unless any thing shou'd appear in the Statement 
of the Acco'ts to excite us to such a measure it is not the 
present intention of Col'l Habersham or myself — Mr. Bright 
has had the Use of our Money 12 or 13 Years and tis uncer- 
tain wether we cou'd obtain any advantage from it unless 
the one or the other of us cou'd be on the spot to support 
& give the necessary proofs as they might be wanting to 
inforce our demands 'twou'd probably not avail, & if any 
great delay shou'd take place in bringing it to a close again 
— our being kept out of our Money and the additional 
trouble & expence cou'd not be compensated by any small 
difference — 

We do not mean by these observations to insinuate 
that we are in the least dissatisfied with the referees or 
that any attention has been wanting in any or every part 
of this business very far from it, we dare say they have to 
the best of their Judgement & information endeavoured 
to do impartial Justice, & if we have failed in what we 
thought so, we attribute it to our not being in the way to 
illucidate & give every information, while our adversary 


was on the spot for tho' we endeavoured as far as by letter 
we cou'd to State every thing clearly, yet its hardly possi- 
ble to explain matters so clearly & forcibly in that mode, 
as by an immediate communication — I assure you it has 
always given me pain when I reflected on the great trouble 
you have had In this business & for which we return you 
our sincere thanks & am with regard & respect 
D'r Sir 

Yours &c 

Mr. Nalbro Frazier 

Savannah 20th May 1795. 
Mr. Peter Schermerhorn 
Dear Sir 

The want of proper Schools & seminaries for the educa- 
tion of youth in our State lays us under the necessity of 
sending them abroad, for that purpose ^ your brother 
Capt. C. Schermerhorn, I have sent my Youngest Son who 
has taken him under his charge during the Voyage, & I 
have to request the favour of you to receive him on his. 
arrival untill he can be placed at School at Erasmus Hall 
on Long Island, & I shall hold myself under very great 
obligations if you will be good enough to inquire from 
time to time as opportunitys offer into his situation, health 
& general conduct, my son mentioned to Mr. Todd when 
he was with you last Summer, the probability of my send- 
ing Ralph to him this Spring, & he writes him ^ this 
Conveyance=he (Ralph) has a Cousin (Alex'r Habersham) 
with Mr. Todd — I apprehend he woud wish to board with 
him unless he shou'd board with Mr. Todd I understand 
the Person who boards Alex, has no more, & Mr. Todd 
I presume has several, & if so his being with his Cousin 
wou'd be the most eligible, as well as the most agreable 
to him — difiference of expence between one place & another 
wou'd be no object with me — where they will be best 


attended to, & well taken care of in case of indisposition, 
& where their Morals will be attended to, or at least where 
they will not suffer from bad example are material 
objects with me — I hope you'll excuse my freedom in 
this business — the anxiety for the Welfare & desire for 
the improvement of a Child can be more easily conceived 
than expressed, & I hope will plead my excuse — your 
brother will pay you one hundred dollars for the purpose 
of defraying his expences, Schooling &c & you may rely 
on my taking care to lodge further sums in time to defray 
all future expences, but shou'd it by any accident hap- 
pen otherways, you may allways rely on a speedy reim- 
bursement of any advances that may be made on my 
Account — he may some time hence have occasion for a 
little pockett Money — I wou'd allways wish lads according 
to their Years to have enough to keep them from the 
most distant temptation to meanness & at same time not 
enough to encourage them in folly or dissipation — I do not 
believe my son has a propensity to one or the other — his 
opportunitys for improvement have been very trifling, but 
his Morals are good & he is of a tolerable good disposition 
& orderly — I have only to request that you will excuse 
the freedom I have taken in troubling you with this busi- 
ness respecting my Son and am, with regards 
D'r Sir 

Your mo : Ob, Serv 

J. Clay. 

Savannah the 7th Feb'y 1792. 
His Excellency Edward Telfair Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

You have doubtless heard long before this of Mrs. 
Elberts death — I have been employ'd this two or three days 
in arranging and Stating the several Accounts against the 
Estate in which we are interested or concerned — in his life 


time he furnished me with an Account against the Owner 
of Capt. Raines for 1/15 of the Sloop General Gates bo't 
by him of Capt. Lapena — I remember something of his 
pressing us to take a part of his share in her & something 
of our agreeing to it tho' imperfectly — however as no fur- 
ther information can be had or inquiry made I have stated 
the Acco't & credited the Estate with my fourth & yours 
Amount with Interest to the 1st February say Ins'e 
£63.. 19. .7^ Sterling each Share that is so much by you & 
the same sum by me together £127. .19. .2^ I presume this 
will meet your approbation — inclosed you have a Copy of 
the Statement & I shall be glad to have your opinion 
respecting the business as soon as convenient in examining 
these matters I came across a statement of the Voyage of 
the Sophia & Friendship in the hand writing of some of 
your Clerks which fully illucidates the business of Bugg & 
Walton — a Copy of which you have herewith, as also of 
Bugg and Walton's Acco' Curr't with Owners which I 
found in my own hand writing by which a ballance of 
£149. .6. .9^ is stated as due them — & by the Statement of 
your Acco't with Owners it appears you assumed that 
ballance & you are credited therewith accordingly say the 
sum of £14.. 6.. 9 as paid or to be paid by you to Jno Walton — 
this Will enable you to clear up finally to Mr. Watkins 
that business & remove all his objections to setling C. T 
^ Co. Acco. with that Estate — which will be obliged to you 
to do as soon as possible. 

I am endeavouring to get Marburrys Judgement into 
my hands if 'twill require a considerable advance to do it, 
however if I can accomplish it 'twill enable me to proceed 
with ease two or three days will bring things round so as 
to fix on some mode or other — Mr. Burke claims 27 Negroes 
as the property of his Wife's & Betsey & some of the lands 
the two Boys appears to be without the smallest pro- 
vision — I wish any thing may be saved for them — if no 
other mode presents I woud propose that we each make 
some small sacrifice towards establishing a small fund for 


them — however at present nothing can be agreed on with 
any certainty — I am with regards & respect 

D'r Sir Yrs &c 

Jos. Clay. 

Savannah 25th Sep'r 1792. 
His Excellency Ed: Telfair Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

By Mr. Hulls Account it appears the Citizens of the 
United States are almost outlawed in the Creek Nation^ 
and that were it not for the influence of some individuals 
among & with the Indians, 'twou'd hardly be safe to go 
among them in the way of trade — the Spaniards who we 
suppose & say are far behind the Neighbouring nations in 
policy & commerce act much wiser than we do, at least in 
Indian affairs — they fix a superintendent of Commissary 
among the Indians in their Nation, where he ought to be — 
he talks of his Catholic Majestys subjects, and that he must 
protect them & this I believe within our own territory, & 
if Mr. Hulls information is good, & he speaks very posi- 
tively, he is not backward in doing us as a Nation, and this 
State in particular, every ill office — and he says further 
that its said this very Man has been not long past stirring 
up the Northern tribes against us — I shou'd suppose the 
necessity of our having a proper representative in the 
Nation, must soon impress every part of our government, — 
We have nothing new, our town is healthier than usual 
at this Season, & tho' we have had more shipping than 
common at this time of the year the Sailors have not as 
yet sufferred so much as they often do however we are 
as yet only over a part of the sickly season — our harvesting 
has gone on tolerably for some days & still continues, at 
the beginning 'twas very unfavourable for the early 
planters — I am with respect 

D'r Sir &c &c 



Savannah 24th Oct'r 1792. 
Jacob Waldburgher Esq'r 
Inclosed are our several Accounts against the Estate 
of the Rev'd Mr. Zouberbuhler from the time they were 
laid before the Executive by orders of the legislature, and 
examined by the Auditor to the 15th Ins. ballance then due 
il817.1.0 the Interest makes a considerable addition to 
the former ballance and will continue to do so untill dis- 
charg'd we woud wish to have the Accounts closed & 
placed on some certain footing so as to remove all diffi- 
culties in future to which end we shall be ready to concur 
in any reasonable plan that may be proposed for that 
purpose, and am. 

Sir Your mo: Obed't Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

Savannah the ^March 1793. 

The Hon'ble Anth'y Stokes Esq. 
D'r Sir 

I received your obliging favour of the 12th May 1791 
inclosing Dr. Irvines of the 25th June I have not the least 
doubt but that all the facts there stated are strictly true — but 
unfortunately they do not afford me the smallest prospect 
of redress on this side — so far from it, that added to the large 
sum I lay out of I am threatened with a suit by Mrs. Vandyke, 
for an overplus which she says their land sold for more than 
the debt they were sued for, this is very unpleasant tho' 
I am not apprehensive of any ill consequences arising from 
such a Suit, and I am of opinion she will not bring it, because 
I do not believe she can give a very satisfactory Acco't how 
she came by the bond, at least she never wou'd afford me 
any when I applied to her — from the Survivors of Wood 
or any one Else I can't obtain any intelligence that leads to 


any advantage, & I have not been sparing in my researches 
for that purpose Altho' Mr. Wood used my Name in that 
business I never considered him as my Attorney, or under 
my direction, but though you, nor did he ever do any busi- 
ness for me that I recollect — Mr. Young you may remember 
was my attorney, and did all my business, and probably 
'tw^oud have been fortunate for both of us if he had con- 
ducted this — Mr. Wood was a Young man you appeared to 
have a predeliction for, & you put the business into his 
hands, and as I did not consider myself in any way respon- 
sible, I never interfered, presuming that you alone was liable 
for any consequences, my Name being only used at your 
particular request and which your letters fully express & 
therefore I suffered you to conduct all matters respecting 
it as you thought most for your Interest & Security — my 
personal regard for you wou'd always induce me to do every 
thing that wou'd promote your Interest and avoid every 
thing that wou'd injure it or even hurt y'r feelings but my 
losses have been so exceeding heavy in consequence of the 
Revolution join'd to the many obligations which as a Mer- 
chant I was liable to, & which as far as in my power I must 
& will fulfill, compel me to look for every resource I am 
intitled to, to enable me to do so this among many others 
I conceive to be one that I am in justice intitled to and that 
if I can't obtain it by any other means that you in honour 
& law are bound to bear me harmless — 'twas no matter of 
mine or had I any interest therein I entered into it at yr 
request & under y'r indemnification & to oblige you & which 
as I before observed is very fully stated by yrself — 'I have 
sought for every resource or information in this Country 
without effect, which obliges me to apply to you for reim- 
bursement — at foot is a Statement of the bond, & inclosed is 
one of the bona fide debt due to me without any charges, 
being thereby £211. .8.. 6 Sterlg I hope you will be able to 
point out some mode by which I may without ill convenience 
be reimbursed, or if I can't be immediately paid, that I may 


have it secured to be paid in some future reasonable time^ 
and am with great regard & respect 
D'r Sir 

Yr mo: Obed — Humbl Serv't 

Jos. Clay. 

Bond dated 16th May 1771 for Int. . . .il83..19..8 
Int. on do deducting 3>4 Years 

to the 1st March 1793 268..12..1 452..11..9 

I suppose the above must have included 
Exchanges law fees &c 

Savannah 1st Feb'y 1793. 
The Honb'le Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Esq'r 
Dear Sir 

A short time past Mr. Young delivered me your favour 
of the 5th Oct'r last — I have made every search for papers 
respecting the debts of Rae & Somerville, but have found 
none — I know that I had them, but I believe must have 
delivered them to Mr Wm. Young deceased, who with 
Mr. Jno Houstoun prosecuted the suit against that concern 
to Judgements ; or I must have left them in Georgia when 
the British drove us out of it, as I did a great number of 
my own papers & books, all of which were destroyed or 
lost unfortunately the most of Mr. Youngs papers shared 
the same fate, his were moved out of the Town to a plan- 
tation at some distance, but that did not save them. — I 
believe sufficient proof of the Judgement then obtained can 
be found, so as to establish the debt — Mr. Young thinks, 
at least he says so, that he shall not suffer for the want of 
those papers, having ample proofs in his possession with- 
out those — I am very sorry our prospects with the 
McGowen's is so indifferrent they were generally supposed 


responsible people formerly — some valueable land of theirs 
have been attached in this State a short time past — 

We are very sensible you and the other heirs of Mr, 
Stead have not been pressing hitherto and 'tis more than 
probable, it has been full as beneficial to you and them, as to 
us, as your security for payment has thereby been increased 
and that intirely from our exertions & Industry since the 
War — our losses in various ways during that period, and 
from the consequences thereof, exceeded the sum we owed 
Mr. Steads Estate — ^the property we remained possessed 
of at the end of it, was principally inactive, and outstanding 
debts, the latter which were very considerable, have dimin- 
ished far beyond our hopes & expectations, many of the 
parties indebted to us from the same causes, say from the 
general one, the War, have been rendered unable to pay 
us, some altogether, others in part, & from others we have 
been obliged to receive inactive property, say lands or get 
nothing, & several are dead & others gone intirely off — 
these circumstances places the burden very unequal, and 
that arising not from any failure neglect or extravagance, 
but from a public calamity w'ch neither prudence or exer- 
tion cou'd foresee or prevent — certainly debtor & Creditor 
as far as reasonable, shou'd share those ill conveniences 
between them — if compensation for losses, had been afforded 
to American Citizens, as has been allowed by the British 
to their Loyalists, the case wou'd be altered but as the 
matter now stands, it may be said without deviating from 
the truth, that a large part of the losses of individuals in the 
Southern States have fell upon the Merchants who traded 
to Great Britain before the Warr, there is no doubt but 
many other individuals have also sustained very heavy 
losses, but none in so great a proportion as they very gen- 
erally have, 'tis equally true and must be allowed that the 
British Creditors have also sufferred considerably from 
their debtors being unable to pay them, but that does not 
lessen the weight of those who suffer on this Side for my 
own part I had been several years carrying on business 


with success before I had any connection with Mr. Stead 
of consequence, & that for several Years with equal success, 
say untill the War put a Stop to our Commerce, and I am 
now, & have been for upwards of Ten Years past, toiling 
& exerting myself (& that I may say in my latter days & 
with a large family) for no other purpose but to make up 
the losses of others as well as our own, & to enable our- 
selves to discharge those obligations we contracted before 
the Revolution — I mention these Circumstances as the 
causes that have prevented our progressing so much in the 
discharge of our debts to Mr. Steads Estate as his heirs 
cou'd have wished or we have most ardently desired — If 
landed property had not have been of so little value among 
us since the War, or it had been so that we cou'd have 
disposed of it for moderate prices, or that we cou'd have 
received it in payment & paid it, or only a part of it away 
in the same manner 'twoud have enabled us to have less- 
•ened our debt before this — but it has beei) otherways, the 
great cessions of territory our State has obtained since the 
Peace the very considerable diminution of Slaves to culti- 
vate our lands in the low Country — frequent Alarms from 
the Indians, & many other circumstances have tended to 
keep it down — things begin to look up a little, but 'twill 
be sometime before they come to their old standards. 

Under all these advantages both Col'l Habersham & 
myself have been constantly engaged in measures to 
increase our ability to make payments to you, & 
though we have not been so successfull as vv-e cou'd wish, 
we hope we have been & still are endeavouring to lay such 
a foundation as will carry us through & enable us to do 
Justice to you & all who have a right to expect it from 
us — Major Pendleton had promised to make a further pay- 
ment to you for us of about £2000 this last Summer, & he 
still flatters us he shall bring it about, & we have actually 
entered into some engagements here for the purpose of 
making payments on his Account to that Amount — We 
also had a draft on Mr. Roger Saunders of your State for 


between 2 & £300 which we were hopefull wou'd have also 
fell into your hands, but of this last we have no Idea of 
its being accomplished at this time, & have in consequence 
thereof recurred to the drawer — it is impossible for us to 
bring payments about but by these kind of modes, our 
property both in debts or otherways is scattered over the 
Country, and we must draw it in by every means in our 
power we consider it as unfortunate that we have had so 
little communication with Mr. Steads representatives, as 
we presume 'tis more than probable things might have 
come forward or have been brought about, that wou'd have 
been beneficial to them & us without injury to either, but 
that not being the Case we have been restrained in our 
vcfiforts more than tis possible were for either of our 
Interests — We observe your hint as to doing as others do 
we believe there are very few who woud wish to oppress 
others without a cause, & we have always had that con- 
fidence in Mr. Steads representatives & it has been the 
spur to our exertions relying that they wou'd meet with no 
interruption **********